Fatal fire ruled accidental, exact cause unkown

By Heidi Warren, Haywood County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer | Apr 17, 2013

The cause of death for a North Canton volunteer firefighter who died in a fire April 6 at his residence has been deemed accidental.

According to preliminary findings from the autopsy report, 28-year-old Brandon Burgess suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of smoke inhalation from the fire that broke out at his home at 143 Pandora Circle in Canton.  The report indicates Burgess did not suffer any burns or external trauma.

The fire was called in by a passerby around 7 p.m. that Saturday evening.  Firefighters from North Canton and Canton fire departments, as well as Canton police and Haywood County Sheriff’s deputies responded and found flames showing from the residence.

Burgess was found unconscious by fellow firefighters shortly after making forced entry into the home. He was transported to MedWest Haywood, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The fire is believed to have started in the laundry room of the home, according to findings from Haywood County Fire Marshal Johnny Glance.  The exact cause of the fire is still unknown. The investigation, conducted by Haywood County Sheriff’s detectives in conjunction with the fire marshal, is not yet complete.

Burgess had been a volunteer firefighter with North Canton since 2005.  Surviving him are his wife and two young sons.