Two dead in Geraldine house fire

Two people were found dead inside the home early Friday morning.

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 9:11 AM
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 4:23 PM

Authorities are working to determine the cause of an early-morning fire that killed two people in Geraldine.

The fire was called in after 4 a.m. at a house on Government Drive, DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Michael Edmondson said. Crews arrived and found the house engulfed in flames, he said.

The names of the people killed in the fire have not been released.

DeKalb County Sheriff's Office investigators and the state fire marshal's office are investigating to determine a cause of the fire.

The family of one of the people who died blame the Boaz Housing Authority for what they call unsafe living conditions.

The family told WAAY 31 that 39 year old Jason Koger was just trying to stay warm.

"He didn't deserve this. He went to sleep thinking he was safe and warm. It's not right," Shawna Armstrong.

Armstrong is Koger's ex wife, but they shared a son, so the two remained close.

She told WAAY 31 that Koger's central heating and cooling unit recently went out.

"The maintenance man went in and told jason to use the wall heaters. He flipped the breakers on. He neglected to tell jason about the ones on the floor. Well, jason had a couch up against it. Fire marshal said that's what started the fire. It kicked on once the floor got so cold it automatically kicks on and it caught it on fire," said Armstrong.

The state fire marshal's office is still investigating and can’t confirm the exact cause of the fire.

One of Koger's neighbors told WAAY 31 there are problems with space heaters in the government housing complex.

"I put in work orders for the ones on the bottom, because they kick on by themselves and it's actually almost caught my sons bed on fire, because it was so hot," said Amanda Simmons.

Simmons said her requests for maintenance have not be answered by the Boaz Housing Authority.

"I've lived here almost six years and I put that in three years ago," said Simmons.

The Boaz Housing Authority told WAAY 31 it wont comment about any of the space heaters in the neighborhood until the investigation into this fire is completed by the state fire marshal's office.

In the mean time, Armstrong and her family said they're going to keep it together through this tragedy by holding onto one thing.

"The good lord, faith," said Armstrong.

WAAY 31 asked the Boaz Housing Authority about the smoke detectors in the house, but they again refused to comment until the investigation is complete.

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