Fire claims Vicksburg man, 80

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

[12/27/04]An early morning fire Sunday on Grove Street claimed the life of an elderly Vicksburg resident.

Hezekiah Lewis, 80, was found on the floor of a front bedroom at 1601 Grove St., said Warren County Coroner John Thomason who investigated the death. Thomason said an autopsy performed late Sunday showed Lewis died as a result of smoke inhalation.

The fire was reported to the E-911 dispatch center at 2:27 a.m. Sunday and Pumpers 4, 6 and 7 along with Ladder 14 were dispatched. Also sent were emergency medical personnel and a fire investigator. The last unit left the scene at 10:18 a.m. Sunday.

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Thomason said Lewis and the owner of the house, Johnnie Shephard, were awakened and got out of the house. However, Lewis went back in for some reason, and never returned.

Thomason said he was told by an investigator from the state Fire Marshal’s Office that the fire may have started near a fireplace in the house.

Thomason said he plans to rule the death was due to an accidental fire.

Lewis’s body will be released to Jefferson Funeral Home.