Victim in deadly fire identified by coroner, SLED & West Columbia PD investigating

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Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 1:10 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2022 at 7:22 PM EDT
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WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the West Columbia Police Department are investigating the cause of a deadly fire in the 1600 block Goldfinch Lane.

The West Columbia Fire Department says calls came in shortly after 11:20 a.m. on Wednesday of reports of heavy fire coming out of the carport.

According to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, 44-year-old Samuel Dwaine Smith of Elloree was pronounced dead at the scene.

Firefighters found Smith inside a completely burnt-out truck in the carport.

Fisher said an autopsy is scheduled for a later date at MUSC.

It’s unclear whether the truck was parked in the carport, or crashed, starting the fire.

West Columbia Deputy Fire Chief Marquis Solomon said 50 percent of the house was damaged by the fire.

The smoke also built up under the crawlspace throughout the home, and the pressure knocked bricks away from the plywood.

A nearby home was also damaged, but the family was not displaced.

Mark Podmore lives a couple doors down, and came outside when he smelled smoke.

“When I got out on the deck after I heard the dogs barking, I looked out at my deck I saw smoke coming from the sky, and of course I heard explosions, like two or three back to back,” he said.

When asked about potential criminal intent here, Solomon said anytime there’s a loss of life in a fire, West Columbia Police calls in SLED to investigate.

West Columbia Fire said the Lexington County Fire Service, Cayce Fire Department, Irmo Fire District and the Columbia-Richland Fire Department all responded to the scene Wednesday afternoon.

West Columbia Fire
West Columbia Fire(Lee Houston Davis-Facebook)

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