Heating system linked to blast that burned Macon man

lfabian@macon.comMarch 10, 2014 

Local, state and federal fire investigators believe a fiery blast that burned a Macon man started in an apartment heating and air conditioning system.

Andre Grier, 29, suffered second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body Saturday afternoon in an explosion at Hidden Lakes Apartments off Mercer University Drive.

Grier is being treated at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, but his condition was not immediately available.

Macon-Bibb Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said foul play is not suspected, but investigators are awaiting a report from building engineers about the HVAC design.

Explosive detecting dogs ruled out a bomb or methamphetamine lab, Riggins said.

Atlanta Gas Light representatives were at the property Monday, and investigators from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Georgia State Fire Marshals Office are assisting in the probe.

“We feel certain it started in that heating and air system,” Riggins said.

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