MONROE, Ga. - A fire in Walton County killed two adults and a child early Sunday morning, including a former University of Georgia football player.
According to the State Insurance Commissioner’s Office, Quentin Omario Moses, 33, passed away while he was being taken to the hospital. Moses played three seasons for UGA before suiting up in the National Football League.
Andria Godard, 31, and her daughter Jasmine Godard, 10, were also killed in the Shamrock Drive house fire, which broke out shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday.
When his best friend from high school, Xavier Godard, accidentally drowned in 2007, Quentin promised to take care of the widow, Andria and the couple’s baby girl Jasmine. Loved ones said Moses died trying to keep that promise.
“He did everything he said he was gonna do. He loved them like family. They were so close,” said Louise Gober.
Gober is Andria’s grandmother and Jasmine’s great-grandmother. She was not surprised to hear Moses lost his life trying to save the 31-year-old mother and 10-year-old child from their Monroe burning home early Sunday morning.
“He was so sweet to us—always treated us like family. He came to my house, ate my food and said,’Hey grandma,how you doing? It was like having the son we lost all those years ago,” Gober said with tears in her eyes as she stood in front of the burned down home.
By Monday morning, investigators in Monroe determined there were no signs of foul play. Chief Keith Glass said it’s still not clear if it was a cooking accident or an appliance malfunction, but he’s certain it started in the kitchen.
“We’re all upset and all torn up about this—the firefighters, the police, the EMTs. We’re working hard to figure out what started this,” Chief Glass said.
Moses earned the respect of players, coaches and fans at Cedar Shoals High in Athens, at UGA and in the NFL. Most recently he was the defensive lineman coach at Reinhardt University in Cherokee County.
“Quentin Moses was an integral part of our coaching staff, but more than that he was a person who believed in our student-athletes and worked hard every day to help each athlete perform at the highest level on the field and in the classroom,” said Reinhardt Head Football Coach James Miller in a statement to FOX 5. “We will miss his leadership, and I will miss his friendship.”
Moses recruited his former UGA teammate Greg Blue to join the Reinhardt coaching staff and the two became inseparable. Blue said they both had long commutes to and from work and would talk on the phone the whole drive.
“I’m still in shock. I think it’s going to hit me tomorrow morning when I wake up to go on that ride to work and he [doesn’t] pick up that phone call,” said Blue.
Coaches and former teammates said Moses had an infectious positivity in everything he did.
“He was our spark plug right there,” explained Blue. “When you were having that long day, that day you just don’t have it in [you], when you hear his voice you’d just pop back up.”
Gober’s heart aches for the Moses family still, she longs for the granddaughter and great-granddaughter she’s cared for after school for years.
“She used to tell me I had to hurry and get her to church on Wednesdays. She liked to go on Wednesdays. Every time her mom would come to pick me up she’d say, ‘Bye grand-daddy. Bye grand-mommy. Love you,’” Gober said as she broke down in tears.
Reinhardt plans to hold a vigil to honor Moses on Tuesday.
City and state fire officials are investigating the cause of the fire.