Charleston, South Carolina – A 86-year-old woman identified as Ethel Jones was the victim in the fatal Charleston house fire on Saturday, local police said.
According to the police, the initial investigation showed that the cause for the fire in the 40 block of Athens Court was a space heater.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal said the victim died at the scene as a result of the injuries she sustained in the fire.
Crews from the Charleston, Saint Andrews, and North Charleston Fire Departments responded shortly after 3 p.m. to the scene. Charleston County EMS and the Charleston Police Department also responded.
Chief Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said the first arriving firefighters reported smoke and fire venting from a two-story home. Witnesses told firefighters multiple people might be trapped inside.
Just when they were able to get inside the house, firefighters entered the house and found only one person, later identified as Jones.
She was immediately treated at the scene by the EMS crews who were already there, but the woman was pronounced dead despite their efforts to bring her back to life.
“The initial investigation determined the fire originated within the victim’s bedroom, near a portable space heater,” he said. “One occupant and a neighbor attempt to fight the fire and rescue the victim before evacuating and calling 911.”
One person, who was inside the house at the time of the incident but self-evacuated, and one neighbor suffered smoke inhalation. They were transferred to hospital for treatment and their condition seems to be stable.