CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Authorities have identified the 82-year-old man who died in a downtown Charleston house fire Thursday morning.
The Charleston County Coroner’s Office says Robert White died in the fire that happened on Addison Street.
“They called and told me and that the house was on fire and that my brother was in there. They couldn’t get him out,” the victim’s sister Ermnia Mitchell said.
Crews responded to Addison Street just off Meeting Street between I-26 and Morrison Drive just before 7 a.m. with flames bursting through the roof of the home.
Fire also spread to an adjacent house but was put out.
Smoke continued to billow out from the house and over I-26 for more than 30 minutes.
Family members of the victim were also on the scene, and said just days prior they had been sitting at the now-burned home planning their holiday.
“We were preparing for Christmas dinner and for him to come to my house for dinner and now he’s gone. He’s gone,” Mitchell said.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg also arrived at the scene to show his support for the first responders because of the seriousness of the fire.
Officials with the Charleston Fire Department say they found White unconscious and rapidly removed him from the home.
“Charleston County EMS was already on scene and quickly assessed the patient,” CFD officials said."Unfortunately, the victim did not survive."
Authorities say the home was equipped with at least one smoke alarm but it could not be determined if the alarm activated during the fire.
Charleston fire officials said there were no other known injuries and the investigation could take days.
According to CFD officials, fire investigators from the Fire Marshal Division, detectives from Charleston Police Department, and investigators from the Charleston County Coroner’s Office responded to investigate the fire and the circumstances leading to the fatality.