Early morning fire claims Autauga County man - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Early morning fire claims Autauga County man

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

For Ray Andrews it was a race against time and a raging fire.

"I got confused and couldn't find my way out," said Andrews.

Andrews says he tried desperately to rescue his father-in-law Junior Judas Pickett, and was so close to getting him but didn't realize at the time Mr. Pickett was on the couch, not on the floor.

"I was right at him. I was right at him," said Andrews.

Neighbors like Dorothy Howard remember a man who had a 'good heart' and loved being around his friends.

"I used to take him to help him get his groceries and his medicines. He was a good man," Howard said.

The fire happened off Autauga County Road 119 in the Independence community outside of Prattville around 12:30 AM Monday.

And while investigators from the state fire marshal's office peeled back the debris to see what actually started the blaze, there is strong speculation it was a space heater.

"I think what happened is his foot probably got caught in the cord and that turned over the heater," said Andrews.

Pickett spent many years in Cleveland, Ohio, working for a tire company before retiring back to his hometown some 5 years ago.

Ray Andrews says plans were already in the works to have Mr. Pickett live with him and his wife of Pickett's failing health. That was supposed to have happened Monday morning.. a few hours after the blaze.

Mr. Pickett was 71 years old.

Pickett's death marks the first fire fatality in Autauga County for 2011.

Neighbors claim Pickett was a cousin to Gospel singer and native of Prattville Wilson Pickett.

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