DECATUR, Ga. — In the early hours of Sunday morning, Chris Tate walked along the driveway of a home on Cresta Drive in Decatur. As he stared at the charred remains of the carport, he broke down in tears as he remembered his neighbor who died in the fire.
"It is crazy, he like uncle me, you know," Tate said.
A DeKalb County Fire Rescue spokesperson said they got a call about the fire around 7 p.m. on Saturday. When fire crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the home, where the carport was located.
When firefighters were able to get to the carport, they found a man dead. Multiple neighbors identified the man killed as Tony Paxton.
Tate explained Paxton and his brother lived in the home and their family is beloved by the community. He tearfully explained his last conversation with Paxton before the fire took place.
"When I was leaving out, he asked me for a cigarette and I didn't have one. Yeah, so I pulled off and went to work. And before I made it back, I got this news," Tate said.
Dekalb Fire said that one brother was in the home when the fire broke out. He explained his brother would frequently spend time there in a boat he owned.
The cause of the house fire is still under investigation.