House fire kills elderly Colleton man

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By HEATHER RUPPE

An elderly Green Pond man died last week in a house fire.

Benjamin Magwood, Jr., 71, of Green Pond, died as a result of the fire. The 71-year-old man was found covered in flames in the front yard of his house. Neighbors reported hearing an explosion and seeing flames coming from the house. Those neighbors then went to the man’s house, and found him in the front yard: he was on fire. Neighbors tried to put out the flames by dumping buckets of water on him; however, he did die on site.

When firefighters arrived, they found the house about 75 percent-filled with flames. According to Colleton County Fire-Rescue Director Barry McRoy, the fire appears to have started from a kerosine heater that exploded inside the house.

Two dogs living with the man did survive the flames, said McRoy.

In addition to this fatal house fire, Colleton firefighters responded to three other house fires within the last week. (See this issue for more information on one of those fires). A house at 70 Blaine Court caught fire when a plastic space heater had fallen off the kitchen counter and caught fire, according to McRoy. This fire resulted in thick smoke spreading throughout the house, he said. Most of the family’s personal items were saved. A dog in the house was treated with oxygen, but did not seem to have any “permanent effects,” said McRoy.

The American Red Cross is helping this family.

Additionally, a vacant residence caught fire on Jan. 12th. Firefighters say the fire started on a couch in the front room, and is appears to have been started by squatters living inside the house. The house did have damage to several front rooms and had smoke damage throughout the house.

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