3 rescued from the burning house of Orangeburg; Man accused of arson 2022-04-28 16:21:00

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Officers rescued three people from a burning apartment Wednesday afternoon on Summers Street, according to an incident report from the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety.

A 31-year-old man allegedly called 9-1-1 at 5:22 p.m. saying he “was about to commit suicide and burn clothes inside the house with himself and other people inside,” according to an arrest warrant.

When the officers arrived at the scene, they were unable to bring anyone to the front door.

At the back of the apartment, an officer noticed “a grill-like smell had just begun” and radioed it to dispatchers to put out a fire in the building.

The report stated that the lower right room was completely engulfed in flames and thick black smoke rose from the house.

Officers arrested Ephraim Washington of 957 Glover Street at the scene.

The officers entered the burning house and took out three more people. The report stated that the other occupants of the building told the officers that they did not know there was a fire until the officers entered the house and shouted at them to get out.

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The officers also rescued one of the tenant’s dogs from the second floor.

Two other tenants were not at home at the time of the fire.

Victims’ services ensured that displaced tenants had places to stay overnight.

Washington was charged with second-degree arson.

One officer claims Washington told her he had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the report said.

Washington allegedly told the officer that he wasn’t taking his medication as well as he should and when people gave it up he was upset, the report said.

The officers transferred Washington to the Regional Medical Center. As of Thursday afternoon, he is not yet booked into the Orangeburg County Detention Center.

Estimated damage to the structure is $50,000.

Contact the author: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-533-5545. Follow us on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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