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Man dies in eastern Athens-Clarke Co. house fire

ACCFES units at the scene of a fatal house fire Thursday morning

By Joe Johnson

An man reportedly was killed in an early morning fire Thursday at his home on the county’s eastside.

Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson identified the victim as 60-year-old Keith Randall Hodapp of 1200 Robert Hardeman Road.

According to the ACC Fire and Emergency Services Department, their personnel responded to a 911 call at 3:19 a.m. from someone reporting that Hodapp’s single-wide mobile home was on fire with someone trapped inside.

The first fire unit reportedly arrived at the scene about eight minutes later and reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the home.

Firefighters quickly deployed hose lines and initiated an aggressive interior attack on the fire, according to ACCFES, and as the fire was brought under control, firefighters performed a search of the structure and located the victim.

The fire is believed to have started in the bedroom of the home and the cause of the fire is under investigation, and an autopsy of the victim was pending.

In the wake of the tragedy, Fire Chief Jeff Scarbrough issued a reminder to residents of the importance of having working smoke detectors in their homes.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim,” he said. “Tragedies like this in our community are difficult for us all. It’s important for everyone to take time and ensure they have working smoke detectors and an emergency plan in place.”

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