Fire chief: 3 dead after 2 Oconee Co. house fires - FOX Carolina 21

Fire chief: 3 dead after 2 Oconee Co. house fires

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Scene of house fire on Brooksmore Road (Source: Fire chief) Scene of house fire on Brooksmore Road (Source: Fire chief)
Firefighters found 1 body in this home on Seneca Creek Rd. after a fire (Feb. 27, 2017/ FOX Carolina) Firefighters found 1 body in this home on Seneca Creek Rd. after a fire (Feb. 27, 2017/ FOX Carolina)
Another view of the Seneca Creek Rd fire (Courtesy: Charlie King) Another view of the Seneca Creek Rd fire (Courtesy: Charlie King)
Daytime look at the Walhalla fire (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 27, 2017) Daytime look at the Walhalla fire (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 27, 2017)
Daytime look at the Seneca fire scene (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 27, 2017) Daytime look at the Seneca fire scene (FOX Carolina/ Feb. 27, 2017)
OCONEE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Oconee County Fire Chief Charlie King said three deaths are being investigated after two house fires Sunday night near Seneca and Walhalla.

The first house fire was reported around 915 p.m. at a home on Brooksmore Road just outside Walhalla.

The home and its contents were completely destroyed by the flames, King said.

Investigators searched through the debris and located the bodies of two people.

Coroner Karl Addis said the victims are believed to be two men who lived at the home. Addis said the bodies are presumed to be those of Charles Lee Brooks, 49, and Alfonso Contreras, 53, but his office is still working to make positive identifications.

The second fire was reported just before midnight at a home on Seneca Creek Road near the Oconee County Airport.

Firefighters battled the flames for about twenty minutes and were able to get control of the blaze.

When it was safe for firefighters to enter the structure, King said they found the remains of one person inside.

King said no electricity was running to the home and no permanent resident lived at the home.

Addis identified the victim as Mark Anthony Land, 49, who was staying at the home.

After autopsies were performed on all victims Tuesday, Addis confirmed Land, Contreras and Brooks all suffered smoke inhalation. Their deaths were ruled accidental.

Agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division were called in to aid in the investigation.

Investigators are still working to determine what caused the fires.

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