Houston man dies after ousting firefighters from burning home

mstucka@macon.comJune 9, 2014 

An autopsy Monday shows a Houston County man died of smoke inhalation after he ordered deputies and firefighters out of his burning house.

The body of William Kezar, 51, was found inside the Elko home. Firefighters and deputies were unable to try later to get Kezar because the home was engulfed in flames, said Houston County sheriff’s Lt. Dave Carrick.

Officials responded to a burning home on Ga. 26 in south Houston County about 11 p.m. Saturday, and onlookers told them someone was still inside.

According to a sheriff’s office statement, Kezar threatened to shoot deputies and firefighters if they didn’t leave his home. Shortly after they backed out of the house, they heard what may have been gunshots coming from inside.

Coroner Danny Galpin said the autopsy showed Kezar died as a result of smoke and soot inhalation with carbon monoxide intoxication. No gunshot wound was discovered on the body, which was found in his bedroom.

Galpin said Kezar’s actions are a mystery.

“We don’t know why he ran everybody out of the house and stayed in there when the fire was going,” Galpin said.

Carrick said it was not clear whether firefighters and deputies heard deliberate gunshots. Kezar had several guns and ammunition in the house that could have exploded in the blaze, and other things in a burning home can sound like gunfire.

“We don’t know for sure if it was gunshots. Just sounded like gunshots,” Carrick said.

No foul play is suspected, he said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Pennycuff at 478-542-2085 or the Houston County Sheriff’s Office at 478-542-2080.

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