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Fatal fire probe on hold

Waiting on GBI reports

POSTED: May 2, 2013 12:30 a.m.
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The investigation into a fatal March 31 house fire is on hold, waiting for an official report from the GBI.

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Forsyth County authorities are still awaiting the results of a toxicology report for a woman found dead in a house fire Easter morning.

Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers said the local investigation is at the mercy of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab to release the findings.

That report typically takes about a month to conclude, but Shivers said the agency has a backlog of cases.

The GBI conducted an autopsy after the fire, but the state agency won’t release its findings to local authorities until the toxicology study is also complete, Shivers has said.

Elise Jeanette Chrisley, 40, was dead when firefighters discovered her at 5145 Shady Grove Road just after 1 a.m. March 31.

Chrisley was alone in the house at the time, Shivers has said, and the smoke detectors were working.

The blaze caused extensive smoke and water damage, making the home uninhabitable.

While the investigation is at a standstill, the fire department remains busy. This week, firefighters have responded to two residential fires that damaged houses but left no one hurt.

Early Sunday, a home in northwest Forsyth was struck by lightning as storms passed through, Shivers said. Lightning hit a home on Hurakan Creek Crossing about 1 a.m., igniting the attic.

“It was brought under control and extinguished rather quickly. We did perform some salvage and overhaul operations and secured all of the family’s valuables and belongings,” he said. “The family was displaced and is staying with family … until they can get the home repaired.”

The homeowner heard the lightning crack and smelled smoke “almost immediately afterwards,” according to Shivers.

“He went to investigate and the attic was on fire, which is a classic sign of a fire starting high in a home because lightning is going to hit the highest point,” he said.

Firefighters also responded to a residential fire on Carlton Road about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Shivers said the fire, believed to be accidental, started in a bedroom and was contained to that area, which sustained minor damage.

The resident who called 911 was not injured, and the three cats and dog in the home were rescued.

 

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