Week after James Island fire, woman dies in burn center

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - The elderly woman trapped in a house fire last week died Wednesday morning at the Augusta Burn Center in Georgia.

The Charleston County Coroner's Office reported Wednesday that 74-year-old Theressa McKeithan died a little more than a week after she was trapped in a house fire. Her husband and grandson managed to escape the fire.

According to firefighters, the blaze at the McKeithan residence on Howle Avenue started around 2:45 a.m. When authorities arrived, they found the rear of the home fully engulfed and 21-year-old Kevin Lamar McKeithan outside the home, an incident report stated.

The man told firefighters that his grandparents were both still in the home and that he was unable to get them out.

While officers tried unsuccessfully to gain entry into the home due to flames and smoke, they saw 76-year-old Blanchard Weeks McKeithan crawl through an open window. He was helped to a waiting EMS unit.

Officers tried to look through the open window for Mrs. McKeithan, but were unable to locate her, the report stated. Charleston County fire arrived on scene and put out the fire. During the fire fight, they found Mrs. McKeithan and she, along with her husband were transported to the Medical University hospital.

During an interview with the grandson, he told officers that "he woke up when the house fire alarm went off and he went to investigate, and saw that the rear of the house was on fire." He tried to wake his grandparents, the report stated, but were unable to move his grandmother out of harm's way because she is disabled.

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