HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Neighbors said they heard an explosion before a fire that injured a Hall County man on Tuesday.
Residents in the Linwood Apartments off Thompson Mill Road in Gainesville said they heard a loud noise and saw smoke around noon Tuesday.
"I figured it had to be someone's furnace had blew up or something like that because that's what is sounded like," said neighbor Fredia Sims.
Two men tried to break down the door of the burning apartment to help the man inside, but they were forced to wait for the landlord and a key.
Once they opened the door, thick black smoke kept them from entering, residents told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
"There was so much smoke coming out. We tried to get low and there was nothing but fire," neighbor Stewart Yarborough said.
Firefighters pulled the victim from the apartment. The man was unconscious and rushed to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, officials said.
The man later died at the hospital. He was 65-years-old. Investigators said the cause of death will be determined once an autopsy is done on the man.
A neighbor told Kavanaugh she has reported a gas odor for several months. Atmos Gas Company and the Public Service Commission were working with fire investigators to determine the exact cause but they did not find any gas leaks or evidence of an explosion.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.