An early morning house fire in rural Georgia has left a celebrated war veteran and beloved grandfather dead.
Family members confirmed that Duane Downey, 71, died during the blaze that engulfed his home in the small town of Bethlehem, Georgia, around 5 a.m. on Monday morning.
They added that he was a Vietnam veteran who survived being shot seven times and being hit with a rocket during the war.
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A neighbor told WSB-TV that Downey was disabled.
Firefighters said that they were trying to access the second floor of the home to rescue anyone inside.
But they weren’t able to extinguish the flames enough to get through.
— FOX 10 Phoenix (@FOX10Phoenix) March 18, 2019
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A local Vietnam veteran who survived being shot 7 times and struck by a rocket was killed today in a house fire. https://t.co/plx4saLw8k We’re learning more about his life – and death – for #Channel2at4. pic.twitter.com/2VppxDHzuL
— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) March 18, 2019
Police are now investigating to determine the cause of the fire.
Downey’s grandson, Derrick Bozeman, told WSB-TV on Sunday that his family will focus on celebrating his grandfather’s legacy.
“All we can do now is pick up the pieces and celebrate who he was,” Bozeman said.
Anna Hopkins is a freelance reporter with Fox News Digital based in New York City. This Fox News piece is used by permission.
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