Sheriff: Baby burned, 2 dead in Union Co. fire - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff: Baby burned, 2 dead in Union Co. fire

Posted: Updated: April 9, 2012 05:21 PM
Fire destroyed a home along Sims Avenue in Monarch Monday. (April 9, 2012/FOX Carolina) Fire destroyed a home along Sims Avenue in Monarch Monday. (April 9, 2012/FOX Carolina)
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Union County deputies and firefighters battled a blaze Monday morning that burned a baby and killed two others.

Deputies said the Regional One helicopter airlifted the 1-year-old baby girl from a home along Sims Avenue in Monarch, near Union. They said the baby was taken to the burn center in Augusta, GA.

Union County Sheriff David Taylor was at the scene and said the baby's grandmother and great grandmother died inside the home. He said crews had extinguished the fire by 2 p.m., but the house was still very hot.

According to the sheriff, the call came in about 10:30 a.m. and when crews arrived, the fire was too hot for anyone to get inside.

SLIDESHOW: Fire destroys Union County home

Taylor said a man was able to pull the baby from the home, but crews were unable to rescue anyone else. He said as far as they know two adults and the small child were at the house.

Flames were seen shooting out of the front door and windows when crews arrived, Taylor said. He said they have been told there were oxygen tanks inside the house, which most likely flamed the fire.

The sheriff said while at the scene, they could hear explosions from inside the home. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division arson team, along with county investigators, will investigate the cause of the fire.

The man that rescued the baby, Josh McCall, said he was coming by, saw the smoke, and went to the front door and heard a baby crying inside. He said he wasn't able to help the woman by the door because as soon as he opened it, the fire consumed the house and debris fell from the ceiling.

Taylor said when the man opened the front door, the oxygen from outside fed the fire inside and the house flamed at that point. The sheriff called McCall a hero, preventing one more loss of life.

Taylor said it took multiple fire departments to respond because the departments in the county are volunteer and most people were at work.

South Side Fire Chief Michael Lancaster said about 11 departments responded to the fire and all but two departments in the county were activated to standby or sent to the scene.

Lancaster said they found the bodies near the front door and that in 90 percent of fire-related fatalities, the victims are found trying to escape.

Both Lancaster and Taylor ask for people to pray for the family and the baby.

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