Third death confirmed in Shellman Bluff shed fire

Deadly fire under investigation at Shellman Bluff

MCINTOSH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE: The McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed a third death after a fire on Shellman Bluff.

Vicki Hutchinson Gilder succumbed to her injuries at Shands Burn Center at the University of Florida on Friday.

A fourth person was injured in the fire, and is currently receiving treatment at a burn center in Florida.

A vigil was held for the victims Friday night at Shellman Bluff Baptist Church. According to the church, all three victims were related and were a big part of their church family. They say they hope this vigil can show the family just how much they care about them and are thinking of them during this tragedy.

“One family. Three family members died from this accident. They’re all members of this church,” said Gary Priester, Chairman of the Deacons, Shellman Bluff Baptist Church. “We just felt like we needed to get together and lean on the Lord and pray for the families, for the loved ones of these several losses we had, and just try to get our faith strong and support each other.”

The church tells WTOC the victim who is at the burn center is in critical condition.


Two people were killed and two others injured in a fire in Shellman Bluff on Thursday afternoon.

Police say it happened around 2 p.m. at a shed on Dallas Bluff Road. McIntosh County firefighters say it was called in as an explosion.

Victim being airlifted to burn center
Victim being airlifted to burn center (Source: The Darien News)

Irma Jean Hutchinson, 78, and R.T. Gilder III, 69, were killed in the fire. Their bodies were sent to the Coastal Crime Lab in Pooler for autopsy.

The individuals who suffered injuries in the fire were flown to the Shands Burn Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King said in a news release, “The victims were inside a social gathering place for residents of the area.”

Investigators with the Safety Fire Commissioner’s Office are assisting the McIntosh County Fire Department, the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with this investigation.

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