Mother and son's death in house fire ruled homicide - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Mother and son's death in Columbus house fire ruled homicide

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The death of a mother and her baby in a house fire on Winifred Ln. has been ruled a homicide, according to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan. 

However, the cause of death has not been released at this time. 

The victims were identified as 32-year-old Rosella Mitchell, and her 6-month-old baby, Dylan Conner. 

Bryan says the two bodies were found on the 1300 block of Winifred Ln.   

Firefighters were dispatched to the house fire Thursday, Aug. 21, around 12:30 a.m. The coroner arrived on the scene around 1 a.m. The victims were pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m.

As of Thursday, authorities were still unsure what caused the fire. CPD investigators said they were waiting on a chemical analysis test to return to determine whether or not this is an arson case.

We spoke with a neighbor who says she's never seen a fire spread so quickly.

"I just heard glass breaking, and the next thing I know, I saw a huge ball of fire shoot out through the window. And the next thing I know, I see everything just shoot up through the top of the roof," the neighbor recalls.

The neighbor also says she immediately called police, and woke her family up afraid the house would explode. 

She says Mitchell was new to the neighborhood, and mostly kept to herself. 

According to Police Lt. Greg Touchberry and Fire Chief Ricky Shores, the State Fire Marshall, along with ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and Columbus detectives were called to the scene to assist in the investigation of a possible arson.

Columbus detectives are currently interviewing someone at headquarters.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.

The victims have been sent to Atlanta for autopsy. Their bodies will be checked for accelerants, according to officials. 

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