USA — According to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton, a wildfire in Aiken County has claimed the life of a Windsor man.
Calton tells WJBF News Channel 6, the victim has been presumptively identified as 72-year-old Howard S. Simmons, of Charlies Loop, in Windsor.
According to witnesses at the scene, the fire was observed by Simmons. Witnesses say Simmons went into his mobile home for unknown reasons and the fire eventually spread to his mobile home. The fire was observed at approximately 1:30 p.m. and Simmons’s sister, who lives nearby, called 911 at 1:45 p.m.
The mobile home was fully consumed and the discovery of the body was made after the fire was controlled. The Windsor Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call.
Simmons was pronounced dead at 3:36 p.m. Autopsy is scheduled for Saturday in Newberry, South Carolina. Positive ID will be accomplished through DNA testing.
The origin of the fire is under investigation by arson investigators. The failure was in the forest areas.Advertisement
Following a 10-year strategy, ACT fire managers have created a mosaic across the landscape of different fuel levels, burning at every opportunity.
But forests have been too wet to burn this spring and the past two summers.
A network of 500 fire trails and strategic burns along the north-west urban edge, heavy grazing and extra grass slashing will create a fortress for the territory which forecasters say faces a higher than average risk this summer.
After a fire-fuelled tornado in January 2003 killed four Canberrans and frightened thousands more, CSIRO fire expert Phil Cheney told the subsequent inquiry the fire’s penetration into urban areas under extreme conditions did not reflect a failure of fuel management on the urban interface.