House fire kills Olivia man

Kathryn Cargo By Kathryn Cargo

Jan. 3, 2018 at 10:12 p.m.
Updated Jan. 4, 2018 at 6 a.m.

Calhoun County sheriff's deputies discovered the remains of an Olivia man while investigating the cause of a house fire Tuesday night.

Sheriff's officials and local fire departments responded to the fire about 9 p.m. at 56 D St. in Olivia, investigator Renette Todd, of the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office, said Wednesday. Firefighters fought the blaze for about four hours.

Authorities discovered Archie Davis Jr., 72, because his sister told officials where he normally laid down, Todd said. The roof of the house collapsed because of the fire.

"When the (witness) passed by and saw the building, it was fully engulfed - flames were coming out of the roof and underneath the floorboards," Todd said.

Calhoun County Sheriff Bobbie Vickery said officials aren't sure what caused the death, but it was most likely smoke inhalation.

"That's what gets someone - they usually suffocate before they burn," he said. "When they die in the house, most of the time they're already dead when the fire is going because of smoke inhalation. (He was) probably overcome with smoke before he even knew what was happening."

The Travis County Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy, Todd said.

Davis was the only person in the house when the fire started, he said.

The preliminary investigation revealed a space heater might have started the fire, Vickery said. But after the investigation concluded Wednesday afternoon, Todd said the cause would probably come back as undetermined.

The Texas State Fire Marshal's Office also concluded their investigation Wednesday afternoon but sent samples to a lab.

The structure was a garage that was remodeled into a house, Vickery said.


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