Thomson man killed in house fire

THOMSON --- An elderly Thomson man who was using a hotplate to heat his home was killed in a house fire Monday morning.

McDuffie County Coroner Rhusha Mack identified the victim as 68-year-old Jessie Ramsey, who lived at 631 Adams Ave. Mr. Mack said he pronounced Mr. Ramsey dead at 9:35 a.m. Glenn Allen, a spokesman for the Georgia State Insurance Commission, said the fire has been ruled accidental.

Mr. Allen said Mr. Ramsey's body was found in a chair in the living room. A hotplate was found near his feet.

Mr. Allen said the state investigator had determined that Mr. Ramsey was using the hotplate as a heating device. Authorities found no other source of heat in the house, he said.

Mr. Ramsey had lived in the concrete-block house for about a year, according to his daughter-in-law, Patricia Moss, of Thomson. Mr. Ramsey was disabled and walked with a cane because he had "bad" feet, Mrs. Moss said.

About a dozen firefighters with the Thomson Fire Department responded to the call shortly after 8:30 a.m.

Thomson Police Investigator Lt. Scott Whittle and State Fire Marshal Investigator Michael Crosby were also called to the scene.

"We have turned the investigation over to the state fire marshal's office," Thomson Fire Chief Rick Sewell said.