MECHANICSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – A deadly house fire is under investigation in the Pee Dee.
Crews with the Darlington County Fire District responded to a fire on Cashua Ferry Road in Mechanicsville around 9:45 p.m. Thursday, according to a press release.
When units arrived at the scene, the double-wide mobile home was fully involved and crews were told someone was inside.
Officials found the victim inside the home, but the man did not survive, said Darlington County fire officials.
James David Blackmon, 61, of Mechanicsville, was pronounced dead on scene, according to Darlington County Coroner J.T. Hardee.
"It's just awful for anybody to pass like that. It's just awful," said long-time friend Paula Lewis. "It kind of hits home, especially when you have kids too. You think about the children and what they are going through. His son just came in here yesterday talking about him. We are like a little country town out here, so yeah, pretty much everybody knows everybody."
Lewis, who works down the street from where Blackmon lived, saw the man daily. She said it was a neighbor next door who called 911 after hearing an explosion and seeing flames.
Darlington County Fire Chief Ricky Flowers said Blackmon's death marks the 33rd one caused by fire in South Carolina just this year. He added investigators did not find a smoke detector inside the home and encourages everyone to have one, and to test the batteries once a month.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by several agencies including the Darlington County Fire District, the Darlington County Sheriff's Office and the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division.