UPDATE: JANUARY 17, 2022 | 9:57 A.M. – The Charleston County Coroner identifies a woman killed in Saturday’s structure fire in Downtown Charleston.

Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal releases the name of Ethel Jones (86) of Charleston. O’Neal says that Jones died on the scene at 43 Athens Court around 3:09 P.M. after sustaining injuries from the fire.

Charleston Fire Department is investigating.


CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston Fire Department (CFD) on Saturday responded to a deadly house fire in Downtown Charleston.

According to CFD, crews responded to Athens Street after 3 p.m. following a report of a house fire with possible entrapment.

Saint Andrews, and North Charleston Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS, and Charleston Police Department all responded to the initial call.

Smoke and fire could reportedly be seen coming from the two-story, single-family dwelling. Bystanders told firefighters multiple people could be trapped inside the building.

According to CFD, firefighters entered the home to begin searching for victims while simultaneously
attacking the fire. Crews quickly contained the fire to the original home. One occupant
was located and removed from the home.

That occupant later died.

CFD says one additional occupant and one neighbor, who had self-evacuated prior the arrival of the fire department, suffered smoke inhalation. Both were assessed and remain in stable condition.

The initial investigation by the Fire Marshal Division, Charleston Police Department, and the Charleston County Coroner’s Office determined the fire originated within the victim’s bedroom, near a portable space
heater.

According to the report, another occupant and neighbor made an attempt to fight the fire and rescue the victim before evacuating and calling 911. The home’s smoke alarms reportedly activated during the incident.

The exact cause is still under investigation.

The Charleston County Coroner’s Office will be investigating the cause of death, and will
release the victim’s identity at a later time.

The American Red Cross will be assessing the victims.