Victim identified in Lamar County fatal fire - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Victim identified in Lamar County fatal fire

Serene Hills fire scene Serene Hills fire scene

The victim of a Friday morning fatal fire in Lamar County has been identified. 

According to Lamar County Deputy Coroner Andy Geske, John Watts, 65, has been positively identified as the victim that was killed in the fire that also destroyed a home in the Serene Hills subdivision off King Road in the early Friday.

Geske stated the victim had to be sent to the Mississippi State Crime Lab for DNA results to make a positive identification, and the cause of death was smoke inhalation from the fire.

Friday morning Lamar County Fire Coordinator George Stevens said firefighters located the body shortly before 6:00 a.m. after conducting a search of the residence.

Lamar County Volunteer firefighters received the call of the fully-involved house fire in the 200 block of Serene Hills subdivision shortly after 2:00 a.m., and arrived on the scene within minutes.

When firefighters arrived, a portion of the roof had already collapsed, and the home was fully-engulfed with flames. Firefighters as well as Lamar County Sheriff's Deputies made their way to doors and windows as flames burst through yelling to anyone inside in attempt to locate the occupant. 

Additional units arrived on scene to assist as well as shuttle water from tankers.

Firefighters continued fighting the fire and extinguishing hotspots until enough smoke and flames were clear to begin a thorough search.

Fire officials discovered the victim was alone in the house, and fire crews remained on scene to extinguish hotspots and flare-ups for several hours.

The cause of the fire is not yet known at this time; however investigators stated Monday morning that it does not appear to be suspicious in nature.

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