Darlington fatal fire victims identified

© (Source: WMBF News Reporter Stephanie Robusto)
© (Source: WMBF News Reporter Stephanie Robusto)

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) -  The two bodies pulled from the remains of what was left after an early morning fire engulfed a Darlington house have been identified.

Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee has positively identified the two men who died in Sunday's house fire as J. Dwight Dana, 67, and his son, James Radisson Dana, 27, of Darlington.

Firefighters arrived to find a house up in flames at 212 Orange St. in Darlington early Sunday morning.

The cause of death was smoke inhalation, and both deaths have been deemed to be accidental by Hardee.

Sgt. Nelson with the Darlington Police Department says there is no suspicion of foul play, and the investigation was handed over to SLED.

The Morning News newspaper in Florence reports Dana served as a Morning News journalist.

WMBF News reached out to the Morning News and an employee with the paper confirms Dana was an employees of the paper.

Crews arrived on scene around 3 a.m., according to Darlington Police Sgt. Kim Nelson. SLED, along with the Darlington Police Department, is investigating.

The damage to the house was severe, and officials say the heat was so extreme that even a mailbox at the street was melted. The fire chief says crews responded in under a minute, but the fire spread so rapidly because the house is hundreds of years old and the wood is very dry and old.

"It's just heartbreaking to ride by there," sighs neighbor Curtis Boyd.

Neighbors say the victims of the horrific incident will certainly be missed.

"Really good leaders and excellent in the community," adds Boyd of the victims. "Super nice guy; [I'm] just praying for their family."

Coroner Todd Hardee also confirms that this home is the scene of another Dana family death. According to Hardee, James Radisson Dana, who died in Sunday's fire, was one of three triplets in the Dana family. Although an exact time frame could not be given, Hardee says one of James Dana's brothers was killed when he fell from the second floor balcony a number of years ago.

The only surviving Dana brother now lives in Hartsville.

Crews were at the scene of the Darlington home Monday putting out hot spots. They were able to keep the fire from spreading to other homes on Sunday.

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