UPDATE: 68-year-old woman found in Carver St. house fire likely - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

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UPDATE: 68-year-old woman found in Carver St. house fire likely died of natural causes, coroner says

Crews responded to a house fire on Carver Street Monday night. (Twitter) Crews responded to a house fire on Carver Street Monday night. (Twitter)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Multiple agencies are investigating a Columbia house fire on Monday night that the police are calling "suspicious," but said the woman inside the home likely died before the fire started. 

Crews were dispatched to a home on the 3400 block of Carver Street around 10:30 p.m. on June 19. 

The Richland County Coroner's Office has identified the victim at 68-year-old Francena Willingham. The coroner's autopsy report concluded that while Willingham likely died of natural causes, additional testing is pending. The autopsy also shows no signs of foul play or indications that the fire caused Willingham’s death.  It appears that Willingham was deceased at least 24 to 48 hours before the fire was reported.

Close to 30 personnel worked the scene and the fire was under control shortly after 11 p.m, Mike DeSumma with Columbia Fire Department said.

When crews arrived on the scene, there was a heavy fire in the back of the building. 

Since the beginning of 2018, there have been five structure fires in the area around the 3400 block of Carver Street: 

  • One was on Booker St in January
  • Three were on Beaumont through the spring
  • One on Carver Street from Monday

All of the fires remain under investigation, a Columbia Fire Department spokesperson said. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. 

WIS will continue to update this story.

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