FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – A 53-year-old man was killed in an apartment fire in Florence early Friday morning, the county coroner confirmed.
Willie A. Hickson, Jr., of Florence, died in a fire at Camellia Gardens Apartments, located in the 1600 block of Gregg Avenue, stated Florence County Coroner Keith Von Lutcken. Hickson, Jr. lived at the Camellia Gardens Apartments.
When firefighters responded to the complex at about 4:30 a.m., residents reported that people were trapped in the unit that was on fire, stated Fire Marshal Kenneth Carr with the Florence Fire Department.
Fire crews aggressively fought the fire while searching for residents, Fire Marshal Carr stated. The unit where the fire started was occupied by two people – one was outside and was taken to a nearby hospital for his injuries. Hickson's body was found on the second floor.
He will be sent for an autopsy at MUSC Saturday morning, Von Lutcken said.
The fire is being investigated by the Florence Police Department, and is considered unintentional at this time. The cause has yet to be determined, Marshal Carr said. The unit sustained heavy smoke and fire damage, and there was damage to the rest of the building.
The Florence Fire Department was assisted on scene by the Florence Police Department, West Florence Rural Volunteer Fire Department, and Florence County EMS.