Report: Man Died After Starting Fire at Home, Refusing to be Rescued

Witnesses said he looked "dazed" as he ran in and out of the burning house.

Athens, Ga., police & fire news
Athens, Ga., police & fire news

An Athens man died from injuries sustained in a fire authorities say he set himself then fought with firefighters trying to save him.

Jeffery Ray Ayers, 50, died in an Augusta burn center Thursday, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Ayers allegedly started the fire at his Orchard Creek Drive home with gasoline Wednesday night. He later struggled with firefighters who were trying to remove him from the house. He had to be tackled and dragged from the house, according to the incident report.

Witnesses said Ayers appeared to be “dazed” as he was seen running and out of the house while holding a gas can and breaking out windows.

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