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House Fire Kills 3 In Nashville, Ga. [GALLERY]

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Updated By: Winnie Wright
January 22, 2014, 5:30pm

"They were good boys and Doodle, he was a good step daddy. He treated them like his."

Jay Hawkins Sr. remembers the lives of his son, step son, and their step father lovingly known as Doodle. 18 year-old, Toby Hawkins, 17 year-old Christopher Rowan, and 39 year-old Artero Garcia were killed early Wednesday morning in a house fire at their home on Sheppard Avenue in Nashville.

Mr. Hawkins says his son Jay Jr. actually escaped the fire from a window at the front of the house. He then ran around here to the side of the house, where his brother, Toby, and step brother, Chris, were sleeping. But according to Mr. Hawkins, unfortunately, he was too late.

Two others escaped before the roof fell, including wife and mother, Kathy Garcia, and Jay Hawkins Jr.'s girlfriend, Shay Catlett. According to family, Toby's last words pleaded for someone to save his mother as he tried to wake his step brother Chris. Jay Sr. said his son's action's didn't surprise him.

"They would want it to be like it was, you know, go together. Toby, he'd give you his last dime. He walked up, a stranger did, several times, saying they were hungry, he'd give them his last dime. They were good-hearted youngins, both of them."

Investigators with the Fire Safety Commissioner's Office have ruled that the fire was caused by "unattended cooking". The family says they disagree, as the fire was started between 3 and 3:30 in the morning.


News Release: Georgia Insurance & Safety Fire Commissioner

Atlanta – Fire Investigators with Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ office have ruled a Wednesday morning house fire that claimed the lives of three and injured two, accidental.

The fire, which occurred around 3:25 a.m., killed Artero Garcia, 39, his stepson, Toby Hawkins, 18, and family friend Christopher Rowan, 17. The house, located at 634 Shepard Street, Nashville, Ga., was destroyed.

“The investigation revealed that the fire originated in the kitchen, and was the result of unattended cooking,” Hudgens said. “We found nothing suspicious about this tragic fire.”

Injured in the blaze were Kathy Garcia, 42, and Shay Catlett, 32. Both Garcia and Catlett sustained smoke inhalation, and were transported to the South Georgia Medical Center. Jay Hawkins, 20, escaped with no injuries.

“With this tragedy in Nashville, we’ve had 15 fire fatalities reported this year in Georgia,” Hudgens said. “I urge all Georgian to use extreme caution while cooking and heating their homes.
Fire Investigators with Hudgens’ office were assisted in the investigation by the Nashville Police Department.


By: Winnie Wright
January 22, 2014

Nashville, Ga., -- A deadly house fire has claimed the lives of at least three people in Nashville, Ga.

Officials say 39-year-old Artero Garcia, 18-year-old Toby Hawkins, and 17-year-old Christopher Rowan died in a house fire on Sheppard Avenue in Nashville around 3 a.m.

Officials say three people survived, and state investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.


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