Arson suspected in Upstate SC house fire that killed man, grandson

State - Regional
firefighter helmet generic_1555182319959.PNG.jpg

OCONEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Officials are investigating a deadly house fire that claimed the lives of a man and his grandson on Saturday night.

Oconee County firefighters responded to the blaze just before midnight on Hidden Valley Road.

Crews arrived to find the home engulfed in flames and the family saying that two people were still inside.

Firefighters worked for nearly 30 minutes to get the fire under control, officials said. One person was treated on scene and taken by EMS to an Oconee Hospital. 

Once the fire was out, emergency officials said the remains of two people were found inside the home.

The coroner identified the victims as 75-year-old Winfred Lee Dills and 25-year-old Daniel Lee Ayers.

According to the coroner, both men lived at the home and were grandfather and grandson.

Dills was discovered dead in his bedroom. Ayers reportedly entered the home through a back door in an attempt to rescue his grandfather.

He was discovered near the back door, the coroner said.

The cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation by the Oconee County Fire, Oconee County Sheriff’s Department officials and SLED.

The incident is being investigated as possible arson, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies ask anyone with information about the fire to call the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 638-4111. An anonymous cash reward is being offered for any tip leading to an arrest in the case.

To leave an anonymous tip by phone call, Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-724-6372), by web at and click “submit a new tip”, or via mobile phone by downloading the P3 Tips App on your Apple or Android Device.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending stories