Fire that killed 63-year-old man being investigated

Published 12:30 am Tuesday, May 7, 2019


NATCHEZ — Fire investigators said they are still working to determine the cause of a Thursday evening fire at the Carpenter School Apartments complex that claimed the life of a 63-year-old man.

Walter Thomas died of smoke inhalation, said Ventris Green, Natchez fire chief.

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“We arrived real quickly,” Green said of the 6:30 p.m. Thursday fire. “The firemen were able to get him (Thomas) out of the apartment within 2 minutes of arriving and started CPR and chest compressions.”

The efforts to revived Thomas, however, were unsuccessful, Green said, adding that he commends battalion chiefs David Freeman and Fernando Videgary for their efforts to revive Thomas.

Fire Marshal Ryan Jones said the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but the fire appeared to have started in the living room of Thomas’ third-floor apartment.

“It did appear to be accidental,” Jones said. “Nothing suspicious about it as of now.”

Green said, coincidentally, that Thomas’ sister Alize Marie Thomas, 65, died along with Tippie Proby Jr., 61, of carbon monoxide poisoning on Dec. 23, 2018.

The two were found deceased and lying next to each other in a small portable building with no electricity at 21 Kudzu Lane, officials said, and a generator was believed to have been the source of the carbon monoxide.