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Blaze kills two in Lee County

Twisted metal, burned debris and melted plastic are all that remained Sunday after a fire destroyed a mobile home on Highway 377 in Lee County. Two people died as a result of the blaze.

Twisted metal, burned debris and melted plastic are all that remained Sunday after a fire destroyed a mobile home on Highway 377 in Lee County. Two people died as a result of the blaze.

SMITHVILLE -- A man heroically tried to save a woman from a raging fire at a mobile home in Smithville but failed, said a Lee County official.

"It appeared the man was trying to carry his girlfriend out of the burning home before they succumbed," said Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals. "It is sad that this happened and it affects so many people. He heroically tried to unselfishly get her out of the fire."

Rachals said that another death was narrowly avoided when a Smithville Police officer dodged Nissan Titian driven by a drunken driver. The driver who did not slow down at the fire scene and crashed into the officer's Dodge Charger had an open container in his pickup.

The driver was arrested by Georgia State Patrol officers. His name was unavailable Sunday.

According to Rachals, The fire broke out before 11 p.m. Saturday on the 1000 block of Highway 377 next to Ellisville Motors.

The couple had been dropped off by relations just about 30 minutes before the fire began, Rachals said. Once the Lee County Fire Department had the fire under control, Rachals said he followed procedure and called the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and state fire investigators to the scene in case of foul play.

The owner of the mobile home, who did not want his name used, paid a visit to the burned-out metal and melted-vinyl mobile home on Sunday. Although the mobile-home owner gave the names of the deceased, The Albany Herald is not releasing them pending notification of relatives.

"He worked for me as a porter cleaning out cars," the mobile home's owner said. "The home is lost, but the biggest loss is the lives. That is a real loss."