LUMPKIN, GA (WTVM) - One person has been confirmed dead in a house fire in the 400 block of Liberty St. in Steward County, Ga.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations says crews responded to the fire around 4:35 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 10. The victim, 62-year-old Hattie McCoy, was found dead inside the home. Her body will be sent for autopsy.
"I saw these blue and yellow lights outside of the house," said Tawanda Strickland, 32. "I came to the front door around five this morning and I was shocked. I was lost for words and I was hysterical. Oh my gosh, Ms. Hattie's house is one fire."
Strickland lives right across from McCoy's house, and she said she knew the victim since she was a young girl.
"We went to church and I knew her since I was little," Strickland said. "She was a very caring person. She was sweet, loving and humble. I'm just sad this happened to her."
The Stewart County Coroner was called out to the scene. The ATF, GBI , the Lumpkin Police, Stewart County Fire and EMS as well as the State Fire Marshal also responded due to the fatality. Multiple agencies stayed on the scene throughout the day to investigate the incident.
"I'm hoping it's a tragic accident, but we are coordinating our efforts with the GBI and the State Fire Marshal's Office to determine the actual cause of the fire," said William Howard, the interim police chief for the city of Lumpkin, Ga.
"I've never seen anything like this," Strickland said. " I just kept saying 'oh my gosh,' over and over again. She was a very sweet and humble person..."
News Leader 9 will continue to update this case as soon as new details become available.