Fire Death Investigation



According to information from Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, Fire Fighters from Leesburg, Sand Rock and Centre Fire Departments responded to a reported structure fire on County Road 235 in the Slackland Community Tuesday afternoon. Cherokee County 911 received a 911 call at approximately 5:30 pm. 911 Operators learned there was someone possibly trapped inside and relayed that information to responding units. Cherokee County Fire/Arson Investigator Shawn Rogers was also contacted and responded. After Fire Fighters brought the fire under control a body was discovered inside the residence. Investigator Rogers contacted Deputy Ray Cumby with the State Fire Marshal’s Office who responded to assist in the investigation. Cherokee County Coroner Broderick Smith and Investigators have made a preliminary identification however a DNA sample from the victim and next to kin are being sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for a positive identification. Investigators believe the fire may have started around a kerosene heater, and believe the victim may have went back into the residence in an attempt to extinguish the fire and was overcome by the fire and smoke. Investigators don’t suspect any foul play and the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.