News 12 11pm/ Sunday October 13, 2013
Waynesboro, Ga (WRDW)----Ashes and a charred doorway are the only thing Demeika Hughes' family can look at for now, because fire tape serves as a barricade. As Hughes looked at what's left of her family's home she can only say one thing.
"I just can't believe my step dad is gone," she told News12.
33 year old Andrew Sursson died after flames took over the house on Savannah Avenue in Waynesboro, early Sunday morning. Investigators say the fire was accidental and believe that unattended cooking started the blaze.
"Fire trucks, police cars, a whole of people. it looked like a disaster out here," said Willie Dukes.
Dukes lives next door and worked with Sursson. he says the situation is sad, but what makes it worse is that even during an election season not one candidate or elected official has offered to help.
"None of them have come by today. This is a good time to earn your vote. Come by and help this family because they need the help now," Dukes told News12.
A 6-year-old and two adults were able to make it out safely and Hughes says that only happened because her brother is a fast thinker.
"He woke up in all the flames. The first thing he did was throw his girlfriend out the window and then he jumped out the window and his next reaction when he got out the house was my nephew is in there," said Hughes.
She says her brother turned hero kicked the back door in and got his nephew, but when he realized his step-dad was in there it was too late.
"The house was definitely not to the standards that it should have been. Yes, it had a fire extinguisher in it, but no.... there weren't any fire alarms. So, it's possible his life could have been saved if there were fire alarms in there to alert him that there was a fire going on," she told News12.
The fire was ruled accidental and believed to be have started after Sursson left food cooking while asleep. The land lord says all his homes are equipped with smoke alarms, but there's no telling what tenants do once they move in. News12 put the family in contact with the Red Cross who has put them up in a hotel and given them food. News12 has also learned two city council members finally showed up offering clothes, help, and dinner.