Moultrie Observer

Local News

December 23, 2012

Woman's body found in burning home

MOULTRIE — Moultrie firefighters battling a house fire found the body of the home’s resident Saturday morning.

Amanda Lee Martinez, 36, had apparently been overcome by smoke, Colquitt County Coroner Verlyn Brock said Saturday afternoon.

“The exact cause of death is under investigation,” Brock said, “but it appears to be smoke inhalation.”

Firefighters were called to 504 Fourth St. S.W. about 5:30 a.m., the Moultrie Fire Department said in a press release.

“Upon arrival heavy smoke was coming from the rear of the house and an attack was made to extinguish the fire,” the release said. “It was brought under control in approximately five minutes. During extinguishment, Moultrie Fire Department personnel discovered the body of a female, deceased, inside of the residence.”

The fire department declined to identify the victim, pending notification of her family.

However, Brock said family members were on the scene Saturday morning and identified the body as that of Martinez.

“Her family is from Brooks County, Quitman,” the coroner said.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Maxwell-Miller Funeral Home of Quitman.

Brock said the fire was confined to the bedroom of the house, which he said is where the body was found.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Moultrie Fire and Police departments, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Colquitt County Coroner’s Office.

State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ office said the victim’s body has been sent to the GBI Crime Lab. An office spokesman also said investigators found no working smoke alarm at the residence.

Martinez’s death was the first of two fire-related deaths in Georgia Saturday. Betty Moss, 64, died when her Lincoln County home caught fire shortly before 9 a.m., the Associated Press reported. Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the state insurance department, said authorities determined Moss put a space heater too close to a sofa, which caught on fire. She didn’t have a working smoke alarm either, investigators said.

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