'Malicious activity' did not cause house fire that killed woman in Socastee early Monday

'Malicious activity' did not cause house fire that killed woman in Socastee early Monday

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Investigators have ruled out any "malicious activity" that could have caused the fire in Socastee Monday morning that killed a 70-year-old woman, but the exact cause is still under investigation.

Horry County Fire Rescue investigators determined the fire on Keith Street in the early morning hours of August 14 originated in the living room area of the home, according to a news release.

"Horry County Fire Rescue is saddened there was a loss of life as a result of this tragic incident, but take comfort knowing three individuals escaped the fire as the result of being awoken by the smoke alarms in the home," the release states. "The particular smoke alarms in this home were actually installed by members of Horry County Fire Rescue on July 22, 2017, in the departments continued efforts of providing smoke alarms in homes across our community."

HCFR's release stressed the importance of every home having properly-operating smoke alarms, and reminds everyone to take the following steps:

  1. Test their Smoke Alarm every month
  2. Replace 9-volt batteries twice each year
  3. Replace Smoke Alarms over 10-years old with “Long Life” lithium battery powered Smoke Alarms
  4. Develop a Home Escape Plan, which includes 2 exits from every home and a designated meeting place away from the home
  5. Practice your Home Escape Plan each month, and re-create the plan when sleeping in vacation locations.

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