UPDATE: Fire Commissioner says deadly house fire is accidental - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Fire Commissioner says deadly house fire is accidental

Doug and Sherri Cates (source: Facebook / Sherri Cates) Doug and Sherri Cates (source: Facebook / Sherri Cates)
WAYNESBORO, GA (WFXG) -

Insurance & Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says the cause of a house fire that killed a Waynesboro Couple appears to be accidental.

The fire killed John Cates & his wife Sherri Cates at their home on Dogwood Drive.

A fire investigator determined that the fire originated in the attic of the home. The preliminary investigation indicates that an electrical malfunction was the cause.

The couple was found in the master bedroom of the home by a firefighter and their bodies were taken to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsies. Investigators found no evidence of criminal intent

Copyright 2017 WFXG. All rights reserved.


UPDATE: On Thursday afternoon, the Burke County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the two people killed in the fire on Dogwood Drive are husband and wife, Doug and Sherri Cates.

Doug Cates was a former city councilman in the city of Waynesboro. Sherri Cates served as clerk of superior court in Burke County for over twenty-one years.


The Waynesboro Fire Department is investigating a house fire incident.

The fire occurred Dec. 7 at 12:27 a.m. on the 300 block of Dogwood Dr. Units arrived at the residence to heavy fire and smoke coming up through the roof. Two people were inside at the time of the fire. They were rescued and transported to the Burke County Medical Center where they were pronounced deceased.

This is an ongoing investigation. The cause of the fire or its origin is unknown at this time. The State Fire Marshall’s Office has been contacted to assist with the investigation.

Copyright 2017 WFXG. All rights reserved.

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