Coroner ID’s woman dead after house fire in Effingham

Pee Dee

EFFINGHAM, SC (WBTW) –  Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken confirms one person is dead following a morning fire in the Effingham community. 

The victim was identified as 72-year-old Mary Beth Harllee. An autopsy showed evidence of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, but more tests are being performed to determine how the victim died. 

The coroner says the fire happened on Willow Creek Road. 

Deputy Chief Bryan Bennett says Howe Springs Fire Department responded to the fire around 5:45 a.m. Tuesday and were still on scene around 11 a.m. According to Deputy Chief Bennett, a passerby called 911 to report the fire. 

When fire crews arrived on scene, the home was on fire from one end to the other. It took 22 crew members and five apparatuses about 45 minutes to control the flames. 

Officials have not released what may have caused the fire. The Florence County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating. 

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