DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Firefighters battled a house fire Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. that left one person dead, according to Coroner Todd Hardee.
30 year-old, Dozier Cannon died inside his home off 106 E. First Street in Darlington from smoke inhalation.
The Darlington Fire Department received a call from a neighbor saying the house was on fire. Darlington Fire Chief, Patrick Cavanaugh says when fire crews got to the house the fire had already covered three quarters of Cannon's home. "That's the unusual thing is that its 5-30 in the morning on a Sunday morning. Normally a Monday through Friday at that time people are out moving going to their jobs, but early Sunday morning people aren't normally around. So how the neighbor got alerted, I'm not sure but at that point the fire had gotten real ahead," said Cavanaugh.
He says the main priority of firefighters was to find out if someone was inside. Cavanaugh says, "I went in right behind them, started putting the fire out catching the hydrants trying to find out if anybody was inside and in that case we treat everything as if there were someone inside, so immediately the guys started to pull in hose lines and trying to knock the fire down and get in there and make a search. That's when they discovered the person."
Cannon lived in the house the past ten years. He graduated last May with honors from Florence Darlington Technical College with three Associates Degrees of Applied Science in Business Management, Accounting, and Marketing and owns his own business, Dozier Lawncare Service.
Joan Lunn-Hicks, Cannon's Aunt visited the destroyed home today and says, "It's a bit eerie knowing... knowing that he's not inside and coming to the door like he would when I would stop by frequently to visit him. Dozier was a very loving, kind generous person, he was always helpful and resourceful, he would help you me or anybody else any time of day."
Chief Cavanaugh says after firefighters put out the fire they found out there were no smoke detectors inside. He says,"That's one of the biggest things for us. Trying to get public education out to the people that they are so important. They are not expensive and people sometimes would like to forgo that ten to fifteen dollars for one but that can mean the difference between life and death."
Lunn-Hicks says,"It's a big void. We love him dearly and we miss him dearly."SLED is still investsigating the cause of the fire.