Coroner identifies body discovered in Hopkins house fire

Coroner identifies body discovered in Hopkins house fire

HOPKINS, SC (WIS) - The body that was found inside a Hopkins home while Columbia Fire crews fought an overnight fire has been identified by the Richland Coroner.

The coroner identified the victim as 84-year-old Cleveland Edmonds of Hopkins. Autopsy results indicated Edmonds' death was caused by smoke inhalation and thermal injuries due to the fire. DNA testing through the Richland County Sheriff's Department's DNA lab is what led to the positive identification of Edmonds.

The fire started at a home on Edmonds Farm Road, a rural part of Hopkins, shortly before Midnight Wednesday.

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says the Edmonds' body was discovered while crews were fighting the fire.

Crews on scene said part of the home had collapsed because of the flames.

"When I got home from work, I saw a lot of smoke in the air so I said wow what's going on? I got in the house and put my pajamas on and I came back outside," resident Terrell Tucker said. "There was two fire trucks coming down the road. I followed them down here. When I got back here fire was everywhere."

Fire crews remained at the scene for several hours Thursday morning and the Richland County Coroner's office was called to the home, as well.

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