Mother and son dead after fire at Statesboro home

Crime & Safety

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – A mother and son are dead after a home caught fire early Wednesday morning.

Just after 1 a.m. Wednesday, the City of Statesboro Fire Department responded to a house fire at 648 Bell Road.

Leslie Dixon, 45, was found in critical condition, and her son, Anderson Spitler, 20, was found dead inside of the home. Fire officials said Dixon was immediately taken to East Georgia Medical Center, but was pronounced dead roughly an hour after the fire was reported.

The Bulloch County Coroner said both Dixon and Spitler died of smoke inhalation. Their bodies will not be sent to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsies because of the “overwhelming evidence” that their deaths were caused by smoke and soot inhalation.

Two other people inside of the home were able to escape unharmed.

Officials said the fire was caused by a space heater being too close to clothing in the master bedroom. The home, a 34-year-old 1,056 square foot Fleetwood Mobile Home, did not have smoke detectors and suffered major interior damage.

Fire Commissioner John F. King stressed the importance of using space heaters safely and making sure smoke detectors are present and working inside of a home. He said 91% of residential fire deaths this year were in homes without working smoke alarms.

“The stats cannot be more clear; these devices can be the difference between life and death in an emergency,” King said.

WSAV’s Claire Going has more on space heater and smoke alarm safety as winter months approach. See the full story tonight on News 3. Watch live here.

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