Ga. home explodes; SLED says owner is accused of killing SC paramedic

South Carolina News

ELBERTON, Ga. (WYFF) – The owner of a home that exploded Thursday morning in Elbert County, Georgia is the same woman accused of killing a South Carolina paramedic during a domestic dispute in February 2019, according to Thomas Crosby with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Elbert County Sheriff Melvin Andrews said firefighters and deputies got a 911 call at 3:15 a.m. Thursday and found a 1,320 square-foot home flattened and still burning from an obvious explosion.

Andrews said the home belongs to Karen Hill, but only her daughter lives in the house part-time.

No one was in the home at the time of the explosion, Andrews said.

Hill is accused of killing Rodney Gilmer, 50, on Feb. 18. 2019 at a home on Whirlaway Circle in Anderson County, South Carolina, Crosby told WYFF News 4. Rodney Gilmer died at the hospital.

Hill has never been charged in the case. Crosby said he claimed the shooting was in self-defense.

SLED is investigating Gilmer’s death.

Sky 4 video showed “Justice for Rodney” spray-painted on a shed that was left standing on the property after the explosion. Andrews said debris from the home, including insulation, was found as far as 80 feet away.

The state fire marshal and Georgia Bureau of Investigation bomb technician responded.

The initial investigation showed the explosion was arson and was caused by an air-fuel mixture, Andrews said.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

Elberton County is located about 40 miles northeast of Athens.

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