SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Firefighters do not suspect foul play in a deadly fire at a home on Hope Drive Thursday night. Luther Lee Otto, 70 years old, and Gayle A. Stracke, 80 years old, and two small dogs died in the blaze.
Fire crews from Old Fort along with Summerville Fire Department were called out to the fire off Miles Jamison Road near Old Trolley Road just before 11 p.m. Thursday night, according to Old Fort Fire Chief Edward Genthert said.
When crews arrived, they say the single story home was fully involved. Genthert said crews initially reported that no one was inside the home.
Once the fire was knocked down, crews were able to go inside the home and found two small dogs that had died. During a second search of the home, authorities found two bodies inside. Genthert says one was of an elderly woman and the other was a man in his sixties.The Dorchester County Coroner has not released the name of the victims.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Alex Radin, who had just moved into the neighborhood a couple of months ago, said he first noticed got word of the fire when his wife saw something outside.
"I was working and my wife noticed all the flashing lights outside." Radin said."I came out to check and see what was going on and my neighbors were out on the yard and we just started talking."
Radin said he didn't smell a lot of smoke, but saw the blaze above the trees, and the emergency personnel rushing to the scene,"There were so many fire trucks and police cars on the road...that actually lit up the neighborhood.
"I was just thinking I hope the people inside got out," Radin said.
Edna Collins, who also lives in the neighborhood, said she had the same hopes when she initially heard what was going on.
"We first noticed all the lights and when we looked out the window and down the street we could see the fire and it was huge, horrendous," Collins said."It was going up through the trees. You could see all the flames, it was fierce."
Neighbors said they were also concerned about the fire spreading, but firefighters were able to contain the blaze.
Following a second search of the residence, authorities located two bodies.
"It's undescribable, undescribable," Collins, said."Just the horror of it to realize having a fire like that on your street and the couple not having a chance...you can't describe something like that."