ROSWELL, GA – Georgia authorities say a man who earned the nickname 'Chicken Man' after losing a public battle to keep chickens on his property is presumed dead after it appears he may have blown up his own home to avoid foreclosure.
myFOXatlanta reports authorities in Roswell, Georgia delivered Andrew Wordes with an eviction notice Monday. Wordes had fallen behind on his mortgage payments after he was jailed for multiple code violations.
Wordes apparently barricaded himself inside his home for a few hours, and refused to talk to authorities.
Police say he then told them to back away from his property, and the house was rocked by a massive explosion a short time later.
Fire officials say gasoline had been poured throughout the house and a body was found inside. The body has yet to be identified but authorities are presuming the body is Wordes'.
Wordes, 53, earned notoriety for his long fight with the city over the right to have livestock on his property. Along the way, he alienated neighbors but earned the support of the city's mayor and others who read about him online. He even convinced a former governor to represent him in court.
Wordes lived in the two-story home on a quiet street for about 13 years and started raising poultry in 2005. At first he had only a few chickens, and most neighbors didn't seem to mind. But the complaints started pouring in after he got dozens more chickens, roosters that crowed day and night and then pigs, goats and dogs.
The city cited him for raising livestock in 2009, and Wordes made a splash on the Internet. Former Gov. Roy Barnes decided to represent him in his fight with Roswell, and his supporters wore yellow T-shirts and "I Love Chickens" buttons to a court hearing. A judge eventually dismissed the case against him but a few months later Roswell lawmakers approved new rules banning roosters and restricting the number of chickens residents can keep.
Many of Wordes' remaining chickens died mysteriously last year. He started other fights, including an effort to get reimbursed for flood damage and arguing with the city after he was cited for improperly grading his property. He was jailed for three months last year for violating probation after pleading guilty to the grading violation, and shortly after he was released he was met with an eviction notice.
Friend and neighbor Kathy Coleman said she was shocked about the explosion, as she had just spent most of the weekend with Wordes.
"Did it have to come down to this?" she asked. "I mean, this was his home. This was all he had left."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.