Zachary man dies in fire that destroyed shed-like structure

Zachary man dies in fire that destroyed shed-like structure

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - A man is dead after an overnight fire destroyed a small building in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal identified the victim as George Matthews Jr., 64, of Zachary. Family and friends said they called him "Bear."

Officials reported the fire happened on Cage Street in Zachary around midnight. The charred rubble was still smoldering at 6 a.m.

Relatives said Matthews was living in a shed-like structure behind his brother's house. Authorities said it was wood-framed and had no utilities.

Investigators with the state fire marshal's office said they determined the fire started on a bed, but they have not yet found the official cause.

Witnesses said Matthews liked to smoke inside the structure.

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Man dies in Zachary fire

The state fire marshal's office said it has requested an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Deputy marshals are assisting the Zachary Fire Department with the investigation.

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