A Valdosta man and his dog were killed in a fire early Monday morning, and Valdosta firefighters are urging people to make sure they have working smoke detectors installed in their homes.
James Trotter, 42, and his dog perished when his home in the 600 block of West Street was engulfed in a blaze that officials believe was accidental. When firefighters arrived to the scene, the house was consumed by fire, and Trotter and his dog could not escape.
Firefighters tried to enter through the back door of the home, but it had been nailed shut. Fireman found Trotter near the back door after they broke in through a window. The dog, Roscoe, was fond near the front door, and investigators believe he was trying to alert Trotter of the fire.
Fire officials say there was no electricity to the home and no smoke detectors. They believe a candle may have ignited fire.
Officials are encouraging everyone to buy a smoke detector, saying that most fire departments will even install one for free.
This is first fire death in Valdosta in three years and the 44th fire related death in Georgia already this year, an unusually high number for the first three and a half months of the year.
read more at WALB here.