Family, community remembering man who died in house fire over the weekend

Chester County Sheriff’s Office—the county coroner and SLED spent hours at the scene Saturday...
Chester County Sheriff’s Office—the county coroner and SLED spent hours at the scene Saturday nightand into Sunday morning investigating.(Source: (Morgan Newell, WBTV))
Published: Apr. 17, 2022 at 10:56 AM EDT
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RICHBURG, S.C. (WBTV) - One person was killed in a house fire that took place Saturday night in Richburg, the Chester County Sheriff’s Office says.

The fire happened at a residence on Greene Drive around 10:10 p.m. The Richburg Fire Department responded to the fully engulfed house fire. A person was found dead inside the home and the fire was extinguished by the morning. That person was Charles Gist, affectionally called Uncle Bull.

“It wasn’t nothing nobody could do,” says Ruthie Holmes, his cousin and neighbor.

The charred pieces of this Richburg home are all that was left after a massive fire.

”The flames were just so intense and you could just hear the wood, just cracking cracking,” says Holmes. ”We kept calling Bull. We were hoping he was somewhere else you know. Everybody who had his phone number was calling him, no answer.”

Holmes and several other family members even tried to save him but it was unsuccessful.

”The flames were so intense you couldn’t get to the house it was just…hot. The flames was just…I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” she says.

When the flames subsided and the smoke cleared, Uncle Bull was unfortunately gone, his body was found by the back door as he tried to get out of the house.

”I can’t even describe in words how much we’re going to miss him,” says his niece, Tia Hart. “This is unparallel to anything.”

Hart says the 25-year military veteran was a pillar in his community. From his garden and green thumb giving food away, to his mentorship to the kids of Richburg, the community cherished Uncle Bull’s wisdom, humor and especially tomatoes.

”He wasn’t just an uncle to his nieces and nephews. He was an uncle to everybody in the neighborhood and the community,” says Hart.

The hole in their hearts is as big as the hole left in the community.

”It’s huge. Words can’t describe how big of a loss this is to our family that includes our community,” she says.

But they know Uncle Bull’s legacy lives on in the kids he mentored, in the garden he cultivated and in the family he loved.

”We’re all born to die. But to die this way... Hey all I could say it was in God’s plan.” says Holmes.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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