2017-12-06 / Front Page

No bodies in peach shed rubble

Ledger Staff Writer

A ray of light emerged from a potentially gloomy situation Monday when Gaffney Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano announced that everyone had been accounted for in the wake of Friday’s fire at the old Sunny Slope Peach Shed on Old Georgia Highway.

Investigators spent the weekend digging through the rubble in an effort to make sure no one was still inside but that search came to an end.

Fire crews responded to the old peach shed at 6:03 a.m. Friday and found approximately 50 percent of the large warehouse in flames.

Firefighters immediately encountered three people who had been living in an apartment inside the warehouse — one man who was uninjured, one man who sustained some cuts on his body from glass, and a woman who suffered inhalation burns. The woman was later transferred to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., for treatment.

Caggiano said statements gathered by investigators from the occupants indicated there was a fourth person inside the building at the time of the fire. This person was unaccounted for throughout the weekend, necessitating a search. Investigators searched the building by hand and brought in a K-9 specially trained in detecting human remains.

It had been reported late Sunday afternoon that the dog did not alert its handler to anything.

While more specific details were not released, Caggiano said Monday that investigators were able to determine that the fourth occupant was safe and accounted for.

Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.

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