2 killed, 2 injured in McIntosh County fire

State officials are investigating a fire in McIntosh County which claimed the life of two senior residents.

The fire broke out around 2:15 p.m. Thursday at a home in the 2000 block of Dallas Bluff Road in Shellman Bluff, Georgia. The Georgia Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office said Irma Jean Hutchinson, 78, and R.T. Gilder III, 69, were killed in the fire and two others were injured. Those injured were taken to the Shands Burn Center at the University of Florida.

“Right now, the cause of this fire is still under investigation,” said Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King. “The victims were inside a social gathering place for residents of the area. The structure suffered major damage from this unfortunate, deadly fire.”

The bodies of Hutchinson and Gilder were taken to the Coastal Crime Lab in Pooler for autopsy.

The state agency is assisting the McIntosh County Fire Department, the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with this investigation.

So far in 2019, 57 people were killed in fires in the state.