Burke County fatal fire ruled an accident

Local Red Cross lending a hand to family devastated by fire


A family in Waynesboro is picking up the pieces, after a fire Sunday morning ripped apart their home.

Fox 54 was told four people were in the house, but one didn't make it out alive.

The Red Cross Augusta Chapter said they're making sure the family doesn't lose one more thing-hope.

An anonymous neighbor said, "They're good people. They lost everything."

That neighbor said he was shocked when a fire broke out Sunday morning around 4A.M. and killed his friend, 33-year-old Andrew Sursson.

Waynesboro Fire Department Deputy Chief Robert Parrish said, "He was found in the bedroom. The fire was in the living room and the kitchen. There wasn't a way for him to make it to the doorways."

Three other people, two adults and a six-year-old, made it out ok. But officials said there wasn't a working smoke detector in the home.

Chief Parrish said, "The adult male that made it out had to break a window and go through it. From what I understand, he somehow got back inside and took the child out."

The Red Cross Chapter of Augusta said they're taking it from here and are making sure the family is taken care of.

Jennifer Pennington, Executive director, Red Cross Augusta Chapter

Red Cross Augusta Chapter Executive Director Jennifer Pennington  said, "We're able to provide financial assistance so they can buy brand new clothing, purchase the food they need and have a place to stay."

Currently, the family is staying in a hotel. Neighbors said right now, they think emotional support will be key.

One anonymous neighbor said, "I'm just really sad about this whole situation. I'm just going to support them all I can and just stick by their side."

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday in Atlanta. Preliminary reports suggest the fire started after Sursson started cooking and fell asleep.


Officials said a Sunday morning fire that killed a Burke County man appears accidental.

Andrew Lenair Sursson, 33, died in the fire at 710 Savannah Avenue. Fire Investigators believe that unattended cooking by Sursson may have started the blaze.

Officials said the duplex home was heavily damaged by the blaze. The fire call was reported at 4:36 a.m.

Two adults and a 6-year old child were also in the home at the time of the fire , but escaped unharmed.

This is the 95th reported fire fatal in Georgia for 2013. Fourteen of those deaths are a direct result of unattended cooking.

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