CLINTON, SC (FOX Carolina)- The Laurens County Coroner's Office confirmed that one person has died in connection with a fire on W Pitts Street that happened on Tuesday afternoon. 

Fire Chief Phillip Russell told us they responded to the scene at around 4:21 on Tuesday afternoon.

Russell said the fire damaged power lines around the house. He added that they believe the fire started outside the home, but it is too early to determine the cause.

According to Russell, three people in total were inside the house when the fire started. One of the residents was trapped inside and went to the hospital for treatment after firefighters helped them get out.

Family and friends gathered to remember A.J. Gary.

The coroner identified the victim as 20-year-old Willie (AJ) Gary Jr. who  passed away from smoke inhalation and not thermal burns. 

AJ's family say he would lift everybody up and would do anything for the people he loved, and that sentiment is true with the actions he took on Tuesday.

"He is our hero, he is our light," said AJ's Aunt Rhonda Gary.“...he just ran in there. All they had to do was say ‘a fire’, and he just took off running. He didn’t ask questions...he ran straight in there and got my mom and daddy out. And I thank him for that. He’s our hero and I love him so much and we miss him, but we know God knows best. We know God knows best." 

A light that will be known for saving the lives of two people very important to him.

On Oct. 19, AJ ran back into the burning house to save his grandparents as they were sleeping.

Rhonda Gary AJ'S Aunt quote

"Every time I close my eyes at night I can see him running in there getting his grandparents because his grandparents was his everything," said Rhonda.

AJ was taken to the Augusta Burn Center after firefighters managed to pull him from the burnt house.

"We went to see him and he was just laying there and I just swear he could hear everything that we was saying you know and we prayed and we prayed and talked to him and just had fond memories of him," explained Rhonda.

The family tells us they just learned that he was an organ donor and will continue to save lives even in death.

"He would want to save other people's lives and let everybody else live on," said Rhonda.

A look at the scene where a fire broke out in Clinton, SC (October 19, 2021)

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