Elderly man killed in duplex fire - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Elderly man killed in duplex fire

The scene of the fire. Photo credit: Jenyne Donaldson. The scene of the fire. Photo credit: Jenyne Donaldson.
The scene of the fire. Photo credit: Jenyne Donaldson. The scene of the fire. Photo credit: Jenyne Donaldson.

Columbus Police and Fire Department are looking into a fire that killed one man on the morning of March 7, 2014.

Shortly after 3 a.m., a large fire consumed a duplex located at 956 Samson Avenue in Columbus, Ga. Bobby Shabazz, 71, lived on the first floor of the house and was bedridden. He was found dead inside the house by the officials.

Coroner Buddy Brian pronounced him dead at 4:05 a.m. Coroner Bryan told News Leader 9 that officers had a difficult time trying to recognize Bobby Shabazz because the man was severely burned.

People who lived on the second floor of the house smelled fire from downstairs, where Bobby lived. They called 911 immediately and received help from the Red Cross to get his belongings out of the burnt house.

James Jones, 49, was an old neighbor and friend of Bobby's. He was shocked when he saw Bobby's house destroyed by the fire.

"I was so shocked," Jones said. "I was concerned, because I knew Bobby was bedridden. I've known him for about 10 years now. I was trying to find out what happened. I can't believe this happened to him. Bobby was such a kind man."

Bobby's wife Mary Tucker-Shabazz was equally shocked by the news. She lived with Bobby, but Mary was not with her husband the night he passed away.

"I was at my son's house," Mary said. "I went over that night to get some food from my brother."

Mary's son lives just few blocks away from Bobby's home.

"My pet, my husband and all my stuff were in that house," Mary said. "I don't have anything or anybody anymore. I don't have a home, cell-phone and other things."

The GBI will conduct an autopsy on Bobby Shabazz's body Saturday morning on March 8. The Fire Department and Columbus Police are still looking into the death investigation to determine the exact cause of the fire and Bobby's death.

News Leader 9 will update the story as soon as new details become available.

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