UPDATE: Investigators believe motel room fire victim was smoking - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

UPDATE: Investigators believe motel room fire victim was smoking in bed

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Fire investigators believe that Fredrick Galloway, the victim of an Augusta motel fire, may have been smoking in bed prior to the fire that claimed his life.

Investigators have completed their investigation, and say that the only cause of the fire they could not rule out was smoking. Investigators believe that Galloway may have fallen asleep, then awoke to find the room on fire.

Original Story:

Kendrick Swinney is grateful to pick up his sons from their school bus stop; right in front of a downtown motel that caught fire, killing one man inside.

"It was kind of scary, but things happen like that sometimes," Swinney said. "It was bad how he died in that room." 

Richmond County investigators say Fredrick Galloway, 43, was found dead in the room. Swinney and his family were just a few doors down from the flames.

"Everybody told us to come out the room so nobody would get hurt or something. So we sat out there for a while, and now they told us that we have to move all our stuff."

Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire. They think it started toward the front.

"The blaze was pretty large," said Robert Robertson, he was getting off work from the Kroger across the street when he saw the flames. "It engulfed the whole hotel room inside there. And it was completely a ball of fire."

Witnesses say firefighters responded within minutes of the fire, but were too late to save Galloway. More than twenty motel guests were evacuated from the building. Families like Swinney's were relocated to nearby motels. And he's just thankful his family is safe.

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