Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 23, 2014

Fire claims three lives

NASHVILLE — An early morning Nashville blaze claimed the lives of three people and injured two others.

At 3:25 a.m., the Nashville Fire Department responded to a house fire on Sheppard Avenue that strong winds had spread to a neighboring home. Firefighter’s fought the flames for approximately two hours. The house where the fire broke out was destroyed, but external damage to the house next door was limited to one wall, said Chuck Edwards, Nashville Police Chief.

Artoro Garcia, 39, his stepson, Toby Keith Hawkins, 18, and family friend Christopher Rowan, 17, all perished in the fire, according to Berrien County Coroner Rob Lovein and information released by the Georgia insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

Kathy Garcia, 42, and Shay Catlett, 32, sustained smoke inhalation and were transported to South Georgia Medical Center. Jay Hawkins Jr., 20, escaped with no injuries.

“When we got there, the house was fully engulfed, so we turned our attention to saving the house next door,” said Fire Chief Buck Warren. “Everyone did a fantastic job saving that house given the wind conditions.”

Gene Sutton was asleep in the house next door when he was awoken by another person who told him about the blaze.

“I went outside, and all I saw was a big ball of fire,” said Sutton.

Sutton’s bedroom and home suffered smoke, fire and water damage, but the structure was saved.

“The investigation revealed that the fire originated in the kitchen and was the result of unattended cooking,” said Hudgens. “We found nothing suspicious about this tragic fire.”

Several local agencies responded to the incident to assist the fire department, including the West Berrien Fire Department, Nashville Police, Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and EMS.

“With this tragedy in Nashville, we’ve had 15 fire fatalities reported this year in Georgia,” said Hudgens. “I urge all Georgian to use extreme caution while cooking and heating their homes.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpg SGMC hires three cardiovascular surgeons

    South Georgia Medical Center has hired three cardiovascular surgeons, according to the hospital Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moody firefighter 2.jpg Moody firefighter feeds burning passion for food

    He can bust down a burning door and save lives from a flaming inferno. If the kitchen survives, he might whip up some elegant blackened salmon.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • vpd accreditation.jpg VPD receives national reaccreditation

    The Valdosta Police Department received reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and is ready to file for accreditation for the regional crime lab.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fussell Tire & Service to expand into new facility

    An existing business will open a new facility and expand its operations, according to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014

  • Brown Johnson Solis Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpeg Cardiac, Vascular, Thoracic & Endovascular Surgeons Join South Georgia Medical Center

    The three surgeons will operate a full-time medical practice and professional office named the SGMC CardioVascular Institute.  The medical office, which is located in Suite 230 of the Professional Building which is adjacent to SGMC, will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140729-Gas_Leak002.jpg Roadway closed after second gas line break

    For a second day in a row, workers from Valdosta’s Utilities Department struck a natural gas service line causing a leak that shut down a portion of Forrest Street, officials said.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dump truck arrest photo.jpg Deputies nab stolen dump truck suspects

    The search for suspected dump truck thieves ended Tuesday afternoon with the arrest of two men in the same area officials searched extensively Monday.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bears sighted on Baytree

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road this week could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Johnson family files second suit against school

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 30, 2014

  • Teachers Harvest

    With students and teachers returning to the classroom in the coming days, the need for school supplies is at the top of numerous priority lists. For teachers, this often means spending their money to ensure classrooms are fully stocked.

    July 30, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results