WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - A structure fire in West Ashley claimed the life of one, according to City of Charleston fire officials.
The Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch Center received multiple 911 calls after 2:30 a.m. reporting a structure fire at Monument Square Apartments on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard.
Charleston, Saint Andrews, and North Charleston Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS, and Charleston PD were dispatched to the scene. Emergency crews arrived within four minutes from the time of dispatch and reported smoke venting from an apartment on the second floor of the three-story building.
Firefighters advanced into the apartment to discover and quickly extinguish a fire in the kitchen.
Crews simultaneously searched the apartment and located an unconscious male occupant in a rear bedroom. Firefighters rapidly removed him from the apartment.
Charleston County EMS was already on scene and initiated medical care before transporting the victim to Roper Saint Francis Hospital. Unfortunately, the victim did not survive.
Fire investigators from the Fire Marshal Division responded to investigate the fire and the circumstances leading to the fatality. The initial investigation determined the fire originated within the kitchen and one control knob on the stove was likely in the "on" position. The fire on the surface of the stove spread to the cabinets and caused significant fire damage to the kitchen and filled the apartment with smoke.
It is unknown at this time if the victim was in the process of cooking and left the kitchen or failed to turn the stove "off" after cooking.
The apartment was equipped with multiple smoke alarms, fire officials say. First responders indicated the alarms were active when they arrived. The building was not equipped with a fire sprinkler system.
The Charleston County Coroner's Office was notified of the incident and will be investigating the cause and manner of death. They will release the victim's identity at the appropriate time.
The Charleston Fire Department would like to remind citizens of these important tips:
- Never leave cooking unattended
- Never cook when you are tired or may fall asleep
- Plan and prepare a home escape plan
- Install and maintain working smoke alarms