02/03/10 — Unidentified body found in burned out city house

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Unidentified body found in burned out city house

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on February 3, 2010 1:46 PM

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An SBI arson investigators' vehicle sits outside a burned out home at 109 S. Georgia Ave. this morning. Authorities found the body of an unidentified person inside the house after the fire was extinguished.

A fire at a South Georgia Avenue boarding house took the life of at least one of the home's seven occupants and destroyed the structure Tuesday night.

The name of the victim was not released this morning.

Goldsboro Fire Chief Gary Whaley said firefighters first got the alarm call at 8:42 p.m., and worked until 10:25 p.m. to get it under control.

Firefighters discovered the body inside the home around 9 p.m., when police investigators were called in, according to reports.

The home, owned by Clayton Curtis Pittman, 52, of Lane Tree Drive, was completely demolished.

"The house was a total loss," the fire chief said. "According to Assistant Chief James Farfour, who was the lead on the scene, 80 percent of the house was involved when the fire department arrived on the scene."

Firefighters took a little more than five minutes to respond to the call, according to fire department records.

Although the body is still officially listed as unidentified, authorities do have at least some of the names of the people who stayed inside the home. However, the name of the suspected fire victim cannot be released until positive identification is made, Whaley said.

Other homes were also damaged in the fire, with $2,500 in collateral damages to 107 S. Georgia Ave. and about $4,000 to 111 S. Georgia Ave.

The damage caused to the structure was too severe to pinpoint a cause of the fire at this point in the investigation, Whaley said.

"We're not speculating at all at what the cause of the fire may be, because ... it was too badly burnt," Whaley said.

The Goldsboro police department, including three investigators and members of the C-Shift patrol unit, are working the case, along with the State Bureau of Investigation and the fire department, the chief said.