GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — One man is dead after a late Sunday morning house fire in unincorporated Lawrenceville.

The blaze happened at a Bleeker Street residence. Neighbors called 911 to report the fire around 11:19 a.m. after they heard a sound that resembled an explosion.

Firefighters arrived to find heavy fire showing throughout the right-side of the split-level, wood-frame house. Flames were already breaking through the roof over a garage that was converted to a living space, which is where officials believe the fire initially began.

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After the fire was out, crews found the body of a man in his mid-70s inside the room believed to be where the fire started. Officials said two dogs were also inside the home, and one of them died in the fire. Investigators don't know whether he was trying to escape the burning home, or if he was looking for the dogs to get them out.

The man's wife was reportedly visiting with her adult daughter.


Officials have not confirmed what caused the fire, though investigators said they couldn't rule out multiple electrical components or an accidental human act as a possible cause.

According to investigators, initial reports of what appeared to be an explosion may be attributed to medical oxygen tanks and ammunition that were located within the burned area of the home.

On Tuesday, the victim was identified as 74-year-old Felix Henry Hayes. According to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner, Hayes had smoke and soot in his airways.

Gwinnett County firefighters at a house fire in unincorporated Lawrenceville on Sunday, April 15, 2018