Fire takes life of 65-year-old Gable man

4 engines, 20 firefighters from Clarendon respond to blaze; additional help from Sumter, Olanta


GABLE - An early morning fire Wednesday claimed the life of a 65-year-old Gable man.

Clarendon County Deputy Coroner Bucky Mock identified the deceased as Lawrence Wilson, who lived in the doublewide mobile home alone.

Mock said an autopsy was held at the Medical University of South Carolina on Thursday to determine the exact cause of Wilson's death. Preliminary results of the autopsy could be released as early as next week, Mock added.

Clarendon County Fire Chief Frances Richbourg said Wilson's body was found inside the home near the home's rear entrance.

Richbourg said she called in the forensic team from the State Law Enforcement Division to assist in the investigation.

"I asked for SLED's help due to the degree of damage to the evidence and since there was a fatality," Richbourg added. "The Clarendon County Sheriff's Office also had deputies on scene to assist."

Richbourg said her department was dispatched to the call around 8:40 a.m. after a passerby called in the fire.

"I believe the person saw heavy smoke and was traveling that way when they saw the fire and called it in," she said. "The caller said they could see a lot of fire inside the structure."

Firefighters reported that the structure was "well-involved" on their arrival.

Four fire engines and 20 firefighters responded from Clarendon County, Richbourg said.

"We also received mutual aid from Sumter County and the Olanta Fire Station," she added. "They brought water to us, and we appreciate their help."

Richbourg said that Wednesday's fire fatality was the first of the new year for Clarendon County, which matched the number of fire deaths the county had for the entire 2017 year.