Medical examiner identifies body in Roswell home explosion - CBS46 News

Medical examiner identifies body in Roswell home explosion

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Aerial scene of home explosion in Roswell Aerial scene of home explosion in Roswell

The Fulton County Medical Examiner has made a positive identification on the body found in a home after it exploded on Monday in Roswell.

The house belonged to Andrew Wordes, the victim.  Wordes, best known as the "Chicken Man," was being evicted after his home fell into bankruptcy.

Marshals arrived at the home Monday morning, but Wordes refused to come out for nearly two hours.

"Our detectives on scene were speaking to the individual through the door," said Capt. F. Powell with the Fulton County Marshal's Office. "We ourselves, the deputies that were present, did not make entry into the home."

Wordes then told a reporter at the scene via phone to ask the marshals to get off of his property.

When asked by the reporter what was going on, Wordes replied, "I can't tell you, but it ain't pretty."

Moments later, the house exploded, sending flames and smoke into the air. Fire investigators said they believe Wordes poured gasoline throughout the house then lit it on fire.

"I've never seen that before. Ever," said neighbor Lee Hollingsworth. "I've never seen a complete house just get blown up from the inside by its occupant."

The Fulton County Marshal called the turn of events tragic.

"We wish there had never been an explosion or anybody hurt," said Marshal Antonio Johnson.  "But this is an unfortunate situation."

Wordes gained notoriety in 2009 when city officials cited him for raising poultry in his backyard. Supporters wore yellow T-shirts and "I Love Chickens" buttons to his court hearing.

He was later sentenced to serve jail time in 2011 after authorities accused him of property code violations.

"Not surprised, not surprised because he hadn't had any attention for a while," said neighbor Ramona Mays, who watched firefighters dousing the flames. "He's got to do his last hurrah."

Roswell Mayor Jere Wood was friends with Wordes.

"I think Andrew made his own choices and I was, I could disagree with his choices, and I was disappointed with his choices, but ultimately Andrew made his own decisions.  I'll remember Andrew always. When I think of Andrew, I'll always think of Houdini, his prize winning rooster in his arms," said Wood. 

The Fulton County Medical Examiner has not yet determined Wordes' cause of death.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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2/2012: Andrew Wordes gained notoriety in Roswell after fighting the city to keep chickens in his backyard. Wordes won that fight, but now faces a different challenge, saving his home. Read story 8/2011: More>>

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