An unidentified person was found dead in the wake of a Sandy Springs house fire, authorities say. Police are now seeking a “person of interest” in the case.
The fire at 501 Hammond Drive was called in at 11:26 a.m. on May 26, according to Capt. Craig Miceli of the Sandy Springs Fire Rescue Department. He said that firefighters extinguished the blaze, then “searched the first floor and found a deceased victim.” Fire Rescue and police investigators are still trying to identify the victim and the cause of the fire, Miceli said.
Meanwhile, the police are seeking Patrick J. Nolan, 43, as a “person of interest” in the case. A “person of interest” is a general term for someone the police believe had information about an incident. Police say Nolan may be driving a 2006 Ford Explorer with Georgia license plate PYZ1420. Anyone with information about him can contact Sandy Springs Police Detective J.T. Williams at 404-456-9343.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is assisting in the investigation. An ATF spokesperson said the agency is part of a metro Atlanta arson task force and responds to local “large-scale fires or fires with a suspicious death” to offer its investigative expertise. Miceli said there is no sign of firearms or explosives involved in the blaze.
Kraun said the city has had only three fatal fires in its 12-year history.
The city of Sandy Springs has been purchasing houses along that section of Hammond Drive in anticipation of a possible road-widening, and in the meantime is renting some of the properties to police officers or firefighters as affordable housing. The house at 501 Hammond is still in private hands and owned by a trust, according to Fulton County property records.
Update: This story has been updated with information about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ involvement in the investigation and the seeking of a “person of interest.”