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SBI Investigates House Fire
Bill Lanier says he made fried chicken for dinner Wednesday.
He believes he turned the oven off and moved the greasy pan - just not far enough.
Lanier says he ate two pieces and smelled the fire around 9 p.m.
He says when he walked into the kitchen, the flames had shot up through the vent above the stove and were into the ceiling. Lanier grabbed his pocketbook and his dog Blondie and ran from the house.
He called 911 and drove next door to Saluda Fire and Rescue honking as firefighters were being dispatched.
When firefighters arrived, flames were already into the attic and through the roof. They worked on the fire for three hours, and returned twice during the morning to put it out again as flames rekindled.
Firefighters finally left the property this morning at approximately 10 a.m., as SBI investigators began cordoning off the property with yellow tape.
Some of the approximately 40 officials that responded to the blaze said it was odd that a building next door to the fire department would burn to the ground.
"Because it was such a large scale fast-moving fire, the SBI's been brought in to investigate it further - for our safety and for the homeowner's safety as well," said Saluda Fire and Rescue's Adam Justus.
Firefighters say the home may have burnt quickly because of the wood and insullation it was made of, and the structure of it - along with the roof collapsing early on - made fighting the flames difficult.
Lanier says he's sure the fire was not arson.