Authorities: No working smoke detector in deadly condo fire

(Photo: Mark Davenport)
(Photo: Mark Davenport)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Investigators said Friday there was no working smoke detector in a North Charleston condo where fire broke out Thursday, killing the owner.

The Charleston County Coroner said Friday that 41-year-old Staci Allen, of North Charleston, died from smoke inhalation.

The North Charleston Fire Department responded to the fire at the Regency Square condos on Dorchester Rd.

When crews arrived they say black smoke was bellowing from a condo on the second floor.

A neighbor who tried to get inside Allen's condo said she was hoping no one was inside.

"Then I saw them cover her and knew," said the woman who did not want to be identified. "It was pretty distressing, it was pretty disturbing to think she was in there and we didn't know it and couldn't get her out."

Firefighters contained the blaze to one unit with the help of a firewall that was built into the structure. That stone wall protected units to the right of the apartment.

Authorities say the female victim's pet was removed from the structure and was transported to a local veterinary hospital and then to the Charleston Animal Society. The dog is in good condition.

"When you're a kid they tell you to get down on the floor and crawl to the door," said Charleston Animal Society Medical Director Dr. Lucy Fuller. "Dogs are already down on the floor, so she was able to keep low and then get out of the house before the smoke made it all the way down."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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