Victim identified in deadly southwest Atlanta fire

Image 1 of 4

The Fulton County Medical Examiner has released the name of a man killed in house fire over the weekend, which officials are now investigating as arson. 

The victim has been identified as Marcus Moseley, 48, of Atlanta. 

App users: Click here to watch video report

The blaze broke out just before 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at a home in the 900 block of Oriole Drive SW. 

One witness said he saw a man trying to escape from the home, before a loud explosion. 

"He was running at top speed. I was attempting to catch him by jumping the fence from the other side, but the smoke was too heavy for me," said Richard Hightower, who was working on a neighbor's property across the street. 

Crews said winds were likely a factor in the difficulty of fighting the blaze. Once firefighters were able to contain the flames, they found Morseley's body at the bottom of a swimming pool in the back yard.  A dive team responded to the scene to recover the body. 

"When we got on scene, we discovered that the male was in the bottom of the pool and was deceased," explained Sgt. Cortez Stafford with the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. "There was nothing that we could do when we got on scene to save the victim."

Arson investigators and homicide detectives returned to the home Sunday to try to determine a cause of the fire and Moseley's death.  

James Middlebrooks, who lives across the street from the home, said he continues to hold out hope that the fire was not arson after all.

"I'm hoping that it's not, but it did spread fast," said Middlebrooks.  "It would be very, very sad."