2018-02-12 / Front Page

Home destroyed by fire

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer

A vacant home in the Mill Village neighborhood of Gaffney was destroyed in a Saturday morning fire that remains under investigation.

City of Gaffney firefighters were initially dispatched to the 100 block of Cedar Street at 7:38 a.m. and found heavy fire throughout the residence upon arrival, Lt. Cline Gore said.

While firefighters believed the home, described as a single-wide mobile home that had been added on to over the years, was vacant based on the condition of the property and the fact some windows were boarded up, it wasn’t initially clear if anyone was inside.

“We made a defensive attack first,” Gore said. “Once we are able to get the fire knocked down, we made a primary search to make sure we didn’t have anybody who had been staying there overnight.”

Firefighters found no one inside, Gore said.

“There’s clear evidence people have been squatting in there,” Gaffney Fire Marshal Billy Bishop observed. He said there were several mattresses inside the building, along with some recent food containers. “There was no power (to the building) for several years,” he said.

If people were staying inside, the fire marshal said, it’s possible they were getting heat from an open flame.

The cause of the fire, however, remained undetermined. Bishop said he was confident about the area of origin inside the home but structural damage, including a roof collapse and a burned-through floor, prevented them from taking a very close look.

Altogether, Gore estimated it took about 20 minutes to get the fire out. No firefighters were injured.

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