Electrical heater sparks deadly Darlington Co. fire

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) The Darlington County Sheriff's Office has ruled a fatal house fire as accidental and say there is no foul play in the case.

Capt. Andy Locklair, spokesman for the Darlington County Sheriff's Office, said deputies the fire started along Value Drive around 2:30 a.m.

According to Darlington County Fire Chief David Williams, the home was showing heavy smoke and fire once units arrived on scene.

"The first firefighters arrived around 2:45 a.m. and the fire was under control around 3:30 a.m. with more than 60 percent of the home burned," Williams said.

One victim was found dead inside the home, according to Locklair. He has been identified by Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee as Leroy Jacobs, 61.

Hardee said an autopsy will take place Wednesday and will not make a ruling as to how Jacobs died until the findings of the autopsy come back.

Friday afternoon, Locklair said the fire was ruled accidental and there was no foul play.

"It appeared to be an electrical heater that may have started the fire," Sheriff Wayne Byrd said. "We have ruled out any foul play in this case."

Locklair said the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was also investigating the fire.

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