pickenssentinel.com

Garage fire being treated as arson

By D. C. Moody dmoody@civitasmedia.com

July 8, 2014

EASLEY — A fire at a Regency Street home in Easley is being treated as arson by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department and Easley Fire Department.


First responders and Easley police responded around 10:35 p.m. July 2 to 105 Regency St., containing the blaze before damage could be done to residences nearby.


“The building held a lot of the antiques and things my wife, who passed, had collected over the years,” resident Bruce Burton said of the damage caused by the fire. “There was glassware and antiques and some things that belonged to my daughter and you can see there’s nothing left.”


Burton gave his account of how he discovered the fire and the events leading up to the incident.


“I was doing a little cleaning in the bedroom when I heard a sound like a car pulling into the yard,” he explained. “I looked out of the blinds and the entire garage was on fire. There were flames everywhere.”


Burton, recovering from back surgery, had been in need of help to recuperate and had two individuals live with him during that period. It was during this time he began to notice items missing from his home as well as malicious damage.


Around 2 p.m. July 2, Burton filed a report with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department on the individuals in question. The 911 call about the fire was made at 10:35 p.m.


“We are involved in this investigation as an arson, assisting the Sheriff’s department while we try to get to the bottom of this,” Easley Fire Chief Butch Womack said. “They are working the controlled investigation and out people are giving any assistance needed to their arson investigators.”


The PCSD is looking at all possibilities.


“Mr. Burton was in a position where he needed help following surgery and allowed these individuals to step in and help, giving them some control over bills and finances out of necessity,” Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said. “In this case he may have been taken advantage of and filed an incident report with our office.”


As for the fire that followed hours later, Hashe addressed how PCSD is looking at the case.


“I don’t believe in coincidences,” he said. “It doesn’t add up the report would be filed and then have this happen hours later. Our arson investigators are working to find what really happened.”