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‘I heard a loud boom’: Fiery tragedy kills 1, injures 2 north of Aiken

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 7:43 AM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - One person was killed and two were injured in a fire that apparently involved an explosion Friday morning north of Aiken.

The incident was reported around 7:35 a.m. at 9101 Gregory Road, north of Aiken.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the Center Fire Department responded and found double wide mobile home fully engulfed in flames, authorities said.

Firefighters found a deceased victim inside the residence and two victims, who were taken to a local hospital. The male victim has not been positively identified due to thermal injuries and will be autopsied in Newberry.

The fire apparently spread outside the home, as well, because vegetation was burning along a trail.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is assisting by working to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

Law enforcement officers shut down the road in the area, but many neighbors were out trying to get a look at what was going on. There were large amounts of smoke billowing, and authorities wouldn’t allow anyone near the house.

Multiple neighbors said they reported the incident.

“Like four -- boom, boom, boom, boom. And then came outside, and seen that the truck bed was on fire. And the trailer was on fire, and a girl was screaming and hollering,” said Chris Roper, one of the neighbors. He says he rushed out of his house to find the house next door on fire.

He says he tried his best to help, even burning himself while assisting police. He told News 12 that his brother lived in that house as well, but by chance wasn’t there this morning.

“It’s like, I’m glad it wasn’t my brother in there, but it’s kind of sad that he had to be in there to lose his life, you know what I’m saying? And I wish it was nobody in there,” Roper said.

He admits some things were out of his control.

“It’s a tough way to go out. But, I leave it up to God. Everything happens for a reason,” he said.

The sheriff’s agency asks anyone with information to call 803-648-6811.

It’s been a busy week for firefighters in the CSRA.

Two hours before the Aiken County fire, Columbia County firefighters extinguished a blaze at a mobile home in the 2700 block of Scotts Ferry Road in Appling.

On Thursday, a fifth-wheel RV trailer was destroyed in a fire that was reported around 6 a.m. in the 2600 block of Clanton Road west of Evans. No one was hurt.

And in a blaze around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, an Augusta home went up in flames that also damaged the house next door in the 1700 block of Walker Street. One of the homes was not occupied, but seven people were displaced from the other home.

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