LIBERTY — A house fire on the 400 block of Morning Dew Court in Pickens County claimed one life this morning, according to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.
At approximately 11:20 a.m. on Thursday, the Liberty Area Fire Department received a 911 call about a house fire on the outskirts of Liberty. The department arrived on scene along with emergency medical services and discovered heavy smoke inside the single story modular home, stated Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Creed Hashe.
Information was relayed to the department that an occupant may be trapped inside the residence, Hashe said.
“An adult female advised first responders that she lived at the location and was asleep when she was woken up by the sound of her dog barking,” he said. “The interior of the residence was filled with dark smoke and she escaped through a bedroom window.”
Fire Service personnel located an adult male inside the residence that had not been able to escape, said Hashe. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim was identified by the Coroner’s Office as 66-year-old Arnold Barry Case, Sr. He will be autopsied on Friday morning, the Coroner’s Office stated.
“Preliminary investigation has indicated that there were only two adults inside the residence when the incident occurred and both subjects are not blood related yet reside together along with another adult who was not at the scene when the incident occurred,” said Hashe.
The Sheriff’s Office has requested specialized services from the S.C. Law Enforcement Division to assist in the investigation of the cause and origin of the fire, he said.
The victim’s neighbor, Donna Clark, said she has lived next door for the past four years but only knew the victims “well enough to wave hello.”
“I had no idea what had happened,” Clark said. “My dogs started barking and I came outside to see all these fire trucks and ambulances and police cars here.”
Clark stated she thought three people lived at the home and one of the residents — a man — had helped her periodically with minor car maintenance and repairs.
“He changed my oil for me a couple of times, things like that,” she said. “They were quiet, keep to themselves. They’re good neighbors, I hate that this happened to them.”
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.