Authorities are searching for the family members of a 64-year-old man who died Thursday in mobile home fire in southern Forsyth County.
Forsyth County Deputy Coroner Ted Scarborough identified the man as Dennis Downey of 6350 Old Atlanta Road.
Citing the autopsy report, Scarborough said Downey died of smoke and soot inhalation.
He said the coroner’s office will hold Downey’s body for a month or two. If no one comes forward, Downey will be buried in a pauper’s grave.
“Eventually, somebody is going to come forward and often times it’s family that’s not in the area,” Scarborough said. “From time to time though we will wind up with a body that either no one comes forth to claim or we’ll find family and they are not interested in claiming the body.”
Scarborough said the county pays for pauper’s burials. If family members turn up later, they can exhume the body and arrange burial as they wish.
Scarborough said Downey didn’t leave a lot of information with his friends, neighbors or landlord.
“We just don’t have any leads,” he said, adding that Downey reportedly had been out of work for about six months.
He said he thinks Downey worked in manufacturing.
Authorities spent Thursday afternoon investigating the fire, which started about 3:40 p.m.
Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said firefighters discovered Downey’s body in the front bedroom of the mobile home.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
“It’s a very unfortunate incident and will be under investigation for quite some time,” Shivers said.
He said the mobile home was heavily damaged by the flames and that it appears Downey was the only person inside.
Shivers said no other injuries were reported.
Forsyth Fire Chief Danny Bowman and investigators from the Forsyth County Fire Marshal’s and Sheriff’s offices responded to the incident.
Sheriff’s deputies limited traffic to one lane while authorities investigated the scene. The road was reopened about 5:15 p.m.