Woman dies in house fire
Death under investigation by Sheriff’s Office and SLED
Authorities are investigating the death of a Snelling woman on Saturday night, Sept. 2.
According to Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward, “A body was discovered after a mobile home fire was extinguished at Lot 16, 13626 Highway 64, Barnwell on Sept. 2 around 8:20 p.m.
Ward said, “The initial call was reported to be a fire with entrapment at the above address. Snelling Fire Department along with Barnwell County Rural and Red Oak fire departments responded.”
“After the body was located, the Coroner’s Office along with SLED Arson was contacted.”
Ward said, “A female’s body was recovered and will be sent for autopsy to confirm the cause of death.”
Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating the fire.
The victim has been identified as Robin Owens, 56, according to Ward. She died of smoke inhalation.
Representatives from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office and Snelling Fire Dept. all have said the investigation is ongoing and no details were divulged.
Stephanie Owens said her mother was babysitting her two children, ages 3 and 4, at the time. She said Robin’s husband of 21 years had left to go to the store and wasn’t there at the time of the fire.
“My fiance, Christopher, got off from work and came to her house around 8:15 to pick up the children. They were all sitting on the sofa. Mama said she smelled something burning.”
She said that as smoke began filling the mobile home, Christopher got the children outside, thinking that Robin Owens was just behind him. “Apparently she went back to get something,” said Stephanie, “possibly her cell phone.”
She said Christopher went back into the house but couldn’t find Robin. He then tried to gain access from the outside but was unable to.
“He kept trying and trying but there was nothing else he could do,” she said.
The children are unharmed, she said.
She said Folk Funeral Home, Williston, is handling the arrangements and she said a Go Fund Me page has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses. “She didn’t have any insurance,” said Stephanie.