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Coroner identifies elderly victim of deadly Charleston house fire

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 9:55 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2022 at 3:27 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Coroner’s Office says an 86-year-old woman died Saturday afternoon in a house fire investigators say began near a space heater.

Ethel Jones died at the scene of the fire in the 40 block of Athens Court, Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal said.

She died from injuries she suffered in the fire.

Crews from the Charleston, Saint Andrews, and North Charleston Fire Departments responded shortly after 3 p.m. to the scene. Charleston County EMS and the Charleston Police Department also responded.

Chief Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said the first arriving firefighters reported smoke and fire venting from a two-story home. Witnesses told firefighters multiple people might be trapped inside.

Firefighters found Jones inside the home and Charleston County EMS immediately tried to provide aid, but she did not survive, Julazadeh said.

“The initial investigation determined the fire originated within the victim’s bedroom, near a portable space heater,” he said. “One occupant and a neighbor attempt to fight the fire and rescue the victim before evacuating and calling 911.”

One additional occupant and one neighbor, who had self-evacuated prior the arrival of the fire department, suffered smoke inhalation and were assessed and transported by EMS to a local hospital. Both are in stable condition.

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