Fairfield sees increase in fire fatalities

WINNSBORO – With five fire fatalities this year in Fairfield County, and two of those during the Christmas holidays, interim Fire Director Gregory Gerber said the number is above normal.

Jimmy Ray Douglas looks over a burned out unit at the Lamplighter Apartments (behind Bi-Lo) that he and his sister Gloria Blackwell own. The apartment burned Saturday at 2:45 a.m. | Barbara Ball

A man died in a fire in Blair on Dec. 16, and the body of Sharon Sapp, 55, was found by firefighters in her residence after it burned about noon on Dec. 28.

“On Saturday morning, a woman and two relatives escaped unharmed from their apartment in the Lamplighter Apartments after what began as an early morning kitchen fire gutted their apartment.” Gerber said.

Jimmy Ray Douglas, who, with his sister, owns the apartment complex, said the total damage is between $120,000 – $140,000.

On Tuesday, another home burned in Jenkinsville.

“We’re just having an unusually high number of fires,” Gerber said.

To help combat structure fires. Gerber said Fairfield firefighters are handing out smoke detectors the County acquired through the Fire Marshall’s office.

“So far, we’ve given out 1,000 smoke detectors this last year,” Gerber said. “And if anyone in the community needs a smoke detector, let us know by calling 712-1070.