Victim of house fire dies

by Wes Mayer

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John Gortner, the man rescued by Coweta County Fire Department firefighters from a burning home early Friday, died late Saturday at an Atlanta hospital 

John Gortner, the man rescued by Coweta County Fire Department firefighters from a burning home early Friday, died late Saturday at an Atlanta hospital, officials said.

Also, Karl Becker, who authorities said jumped on a firefighter while crews were attempting to resuscitate Gortner, is now facing multiple obstruction charges for his behavior at the scene of the fire, said Coweta County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Mark Callahan.

Gortner was incorrectly identified as John Gotner in earlier news reports.

Gortner passed away at 11:36 p.m. Saturday in the burn unit of Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, said Coweta County Coroner Richard Hawk. Gortner died as a result of smoke inhalation injuries, Hawk said.

Coweta firefighters responded to the single-family home on Rollingwood Trail, off Fischer Road in northeast Coweta, shortly after midnight in reference to a person possibly still inside, said Coweta Deputy Fire Chief Todd Moore. Inside, a fire crew found Gortner unconscious, got him out of the residence, and began efforts to resuscitate him.

Coweta Emergency Medical Service personnel soon arrived on the scene and continued the efforts to resuscitate Gortner, Moore said. Gortner was then transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital by ambulance and was later airlifted to Atlanta via helicopter.

During the effort to resuscitate Gortner on scene, Becker jumped on one of the firefighters, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the sheriff’s office. Sheriff’s deputies on scene eventually had to use their electric stun guns on Becker, and he was taken into custody.

Once in custody, however, Becker began to kick at the back window of the patrol car, damaging it, Callahan said. Becker now faces five or six obstruction charges, and he remains in the Coweta County jail.

Gortner lived at the residence with Jacuelin Supinski and her three children. Supinski was also taken into custody by deputies for throwing gravel at the firefighters while they were attempting to resuscitate Gortner, Yarbrough said. None of the firefighters on scene were injured.

Considering Gortner died from his injuries and had a relationship with Supinski and the three children, the charges are pending against Supinski, Callahan said.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated by Coweta County Fire Marshal Jimmy Gantt and the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Callahan said.



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