A fire claimed the life of 64-year-old George Matthews Jr., of Zachary.
Zachary firefighters were dispatched to 3641 Cage Street shortly before midnight on March 29, to find a small detached wood-frame storage shed at the rear of the home’s property fully engulfed in flames, according to a news release by State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning’s office.
The badly burned body was found as firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, the release stated.
Willie Matthews, 63, the brother of George Matthews, lives at the Cage Street home with his wife.
“We were asleep when the fire started but woke to find firefighters already here,” Willie Matthews said March 30. “A neighbor saw the flames and called the fire department. They thought it was our house on fire.”
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William “Beau” Clark said Matthews died of carbon monoxide toxicity and has ruled the death as accidental.
The shed that Willie Matthews was living in had a bed but no kitchen, bathroom or working utilities at the time of the blaze.
Investigators say the fire originated on the bed inside the shed.
As of April 4, the exact cause of the deadly fire is still under investigation by Browning’s office, the Zachary Fire Department, Baton Rouge Fire Department’s arson unit and Zachary Police Department.