A Williston man perished when his home at 190 John Street caught fire on Thursday, July 24.
Dean Scarbeary, 58, was found in the upstairs bedroom of his house. According to Williston Fire Chief Milton Widener, Scarbeary was found in a sleeping position.
Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward said an autopsy was performed July 25 which determined Scarbeary died from smoke inhalation.
The call came in at 7:11 a.m. from a neighbor passing by. Firefighters were on the scene at 7:13 a.m.
"We had an excellent response," said Widener.
Long Branch and Elko fire departments also responded. In all, 18 firefighters were present.
After investigation, it was determined that the fire started in the kitchen and is being ruled as a "cooking fire," according to Widener.
"We seem to think it may have been left over from supper," said Widener. It is possible the deep fryer, which was totally burned and was resting on two plastic items, heated up to the point where the two plastic items gave way, eventually causing the fire.
Widener said little fire was upstairs.
"We had a lot of debris that hindered us," said Widener. "But firefighters did an excellent job."
Along with debris, smoke also hindered finding Scarbeary.
Widener refers to Scarbeary as an "upstanding person." Widener knows his family, saying Scarbeary worked at Kronotex.
The fire was under control in 20 minutes but flared up a few times.
Firefighters left the scene at 9:44 a.m.
The family has asked that memorials in memory of Scarbeary be given to the charity golf tournament in care of Kronotex USA, Inc., 810 Technology Drive, Barnwell, S.C. 29812.
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