Michael Todd, 52, and Henry Towe, 72, died in the blaze, which is believed to have originated about 6 p.m. Tuesday in a home set up for assisted-living care located at 739 Parker St. before spreading to an adjacent home on Thomas Dorsey Drive.
The occupants of the second home were out of town at the time of the fire. Todd and Towe were reportedly the only resident patients living in the personal care home. A caretaker who was in the home at the time of the fire escaped relatively unharmed.
“There were two people living in the home and a caretaker,” Villa Rica police Capt. Keith Shaddix said. “We’re still looking into whether they had a business license and so forth. They supposedly have these things and it is registered, but that is all stuff that is still being worked out.”
The home reportedly was licensed to care for residents who were physically or mentally incapacitated.
“We’ve been told there were at least three residents living there in the past, but at the time of the fire there were only two living there,” Villa Rica police Chief Michael Mansour said.
Response to the fire included personnel from several fire stations in Carroll County, the Douglas County Fire Department, the Villa Rica Police Department and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.
Carroll County Fire Chief Tracy Smith said Tuesday that when fire and police personnel arrived, the first home was “fully engulfed” and the second house was “about 40 percent involved.” Both homes were destroyed by the time firefighters got the fire under control.
Autopsies were scheduled for Wednesday morning on Todd and Towe, but officials said it could take several days to determine the exact causes of death.
An investigation to determine the cause of the fire is also under way and will take time to complete, but initial reports Tuesday by personnel at the scene was that it was believed to be accidental.
“We’re working with the Carroll County Fire Department to investigate this situation, but we just don’t have a lot of information at this time,” Shaddix said. “It’s going to take a little while to work through.”
Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s Office spokesman Glenn Allen says the cause of the blaze at the facility will be recorded as undetermined.