Family of 9 picks up pieces after home goes up in flames

Firefighters battle a house fire Tuesday. (Source: Chanda Doetsch / Facebook)
Firefighters battle a house fire Tuesday. (Source: Chanda Doetsch / Facebook)

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Fire investigators returned back to the scene of a house fire that left a family of nine homeless. The fire started Tuesday around 2 p.m. in the Crestwood neighborhood of Summerville.

On Wednesday, all that stands is the torched frame of the home where William Kennell lived for 21 years. It is where he raised his children, and where his step children and grandchildren called home.

"It's devastating. It's hard to watch to describe watching everything you've gathered for 45 years go down the tubes in 15 minutes," Kennell said.

It was a family of four adults and five children, ranging in age from 2 to 16 years old, living at the home. The Old Fort Fire Department returned to the Summerville home to investigate.

"The fire went pretty quick and we're just out here trying to figure out what it was. It might take a week or two to get our final report back," Assistant Fire Chief David Moore said.

Kennell says he's very thankful that the kids were in school, his wife and step daughter were out, and he and his stepson escaped before the flames engulfed the home.

Kennell says it will be a struggle, but eventually the family will rebuild their lives after the loss.

"This is a time that again we're thankful to the neighborhood and Red Cross. They banded together to help us because everything we own was lost in that fire," Kennell said.

The family's two Yorkshire terrier dogs died in the fire and one dog is missing. They are asking people to look out for their chocolate lab. He was wearing a red collar and answers to the name "Harley."

The fire department says the fire started in the front left area of the home, but at this time they have not determined the exact cause.

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