‘Unsurvivable’ fire claims man’s life in south Putnam County

A man was killed early Sunday in a structure fire in South Putnam County.

The victim’s name is being withheld pending positive identification.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m., authorities were dispatched to a structure fire with someone potentially inside, Putnam County Fire Rescue Chief Shane Hill said. A Putnam County sheriff’s deputy who arrived first described the structure as a shed.

The first arriving firefighter found the shed fully engulfed with a partial roof collapse with someone inside, Hill said. He described the fire as “unsurvivable.”

The shed, a 20 by 12 foot storage building, was next to a mobile home on Riverview Road off of Napier Road in the south end of Putnam County. A person inside the home saw the flames and called 911.

A man in his 30s visiting the people inside the mobile home had been camping out in the shed to go deer hunting, Hill said. The man had brought with him an electric space heater.

“We have every reason to believe that’s who it is with the exception of the medical examiner confirming it,” Hill said. “Just because we’re assuming something, we would hate to make identification without something solid.

“To save the family members and his friends and loved ones a mistake, we can’t confirm who it is yet,” Hill said.

The fire appears to have been electrical, Hill said. The space heater was plugged in with an extension cord. The state fire marshal’s office is assiting in the investigation.

“It’s just appears to be a tragedy,” Hill said. “My heart goes out to the family and the friends for the loss.”

The state fire marshal’s office is aiding the fire investigation.

An autopsy is pending at the state medical examiner’s office. Putnam County sheriff Investigator Christopher Harper said he delivered the medical and dental records to the state medical examiner’s office on Monday.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser