West Columbia fire victims identified

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A woman suffering from cerebral palsy died and her step-mother was flown to the hospital Wednesday after being trapped inside their burning home.

According to fire officials, the fire started around noon at a home on Burnham Street in West Columbia.

West Columbia Fire Chief Wyatt Coleman said 21-year-old Kayla Andrews died in the fire. Her step-mother, Sandy Andrews, was airlifted to the Augusta Burn Center to be treated for injuries she received in the fire.

Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman said Thursday preliminary autopsy results indicate Andrews died from burns and carbon monoxide poisoning.

A neighbor saw the fire, called 911, then attempted to save the mother and her daughter. "We went over and tried to get in there and get them out when we found out somebody was still in there, but the smoke was too heavy," said Steven Pinckney. "The fire was too thick to go in."

Pinckney and other neighbors felt helpless as firefighters rushed to put out the fire. Firefighters don't know how or where the fire started.

Firefighters rescued Sandy Andrews from her bedroom, but they couldn't save her disabled daughter. After the flames were extinguished, crews found the 21-year-old's body in the kitchen.

Felisha Romine lives nearby and can't believe what happened. "It's hard because everything they've worked for is gone and they can't get it back."

So far there is no word on Sandy Andrews' condition. Officials say she was recovering at home from meningitis.

The home is a total loss.

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