A 74-year-old man killed early Wednesday in a Decatur, Georgia, house fire spent days without power, his daughter said.
"As far as we can tell, he was trying to, I guess, create some light and heat because he had been without power for three days," Franca Tweedy said.
The man was identified as Wendell Bailey, according to WSB. He reportedly died of smoke inhalation.
Neighbor Shirley Durden said she saw something flickering at the man’s home and called 911. When she and her daughter realized it was a fire, they ran across the street and banged on the door to try to get the man out.
"I just wished I could’ve gotten up sooner or noticed it sooner," Durden said.
Fire crews were on the scene within six minutes of the 911 call, DeKalb fire Capt. Eric Jackson said.
"When we arrived we had heavy flames coming from the garage area of this home," Jackson said.
The man was trapped on the second floor of the home.
"Our firefighters made entry and did, in fact, find an individual upstairs," Jackson said. "We brought the individual out and it was at that time when we were bringing the individual out that we noticed that he was beyond resuscitative measures."
It is unclear what caused the fire or if there were working smoke alarms in the victim’s home.
Tweedy said she suspects her father left candles burning downstairs and went to bed without blowing them out.
Jackson would not confirm that account.
"We need to do a thorough (investigation), especially in light of the fact that there was a fatality," he said.
Jackson did confirm that power was out, presumably from Irma, a devastating system that killed two people in metro Atlanta when they were crushed by falling trees.
Georgia Power, the company serving the victim’s home, is continuing "work around the clock on disaster recovery efforts to ensure that power is safely restored," spokesman Jacob Hawkins said in a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Our thoughts and prayers are with this family."
Tweedy said she didn’t bring her father to her house because she didn’t have power. She said he recently had a stroke.
"He was recovering," Tweedy said. "He was doing pretty well. He was living here by himself. We thought he was able to take care of himself."
He even insisted on accompanying his daughter to South Carolina so she wouldn’t have to travel alone. She was scheduled to be there for job training.
"Even though I’m a grown woman, he was always still trying to take care of me," Tweedy siad. "He was a great father."