MONARCH — A fire that destroyed a house that was unoccupied but undergoing renovations is being investigated by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the SLED Arson Team.
Investigator Scott Coffer said Wednesday that the fire was reported to 911 at 3:07 a.m. that morning and when firefighters and deputies arrived on the scene they found the building fully engulfed by flames. Coffer said the blaze was brought under control and extinguished and firefighters and other emergency responders initially cleared the scene around 5:20 a.m. He said they were called back around 7 a.m. when it was reported that the fire had blazed back up. Firefighters from the Monarch Fire Department were still on the scene hosing down the ruins and extinguishing hot spots as of 9:30 a.m.
In addition to Monarch, Coffer said the Southside Fire Department and firefighters from the Union Public Safety Department were also dispatched to the scene.
Damage to the building, located at 613 Monarch Highway, Monarch, is estimated at $20,000.
Coffer said the SLED Arson Team was called in to assist in the investigation.
“We’re not certain about the cause but we have determined it began in the rear of the home near the back bedroom,” Coffer said. “We contacted the SLED Arson Team to assist in determining the cause of the fire.”
The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire, but Coffer said he spoke with the owner who told him he was in the process of renovating the building.
“The homeowner lives in Spartanburg and we spoke by phone this morning and he said he was in the process of remodeling it,” Coffer said. “The building was unoccupied but the power was hooked up but was only used when the homeowner was here to do the remodeling. He told me he’d been doing some painting but had only just started remodeling.”
Coffer said he and the SLED Arson Team would begin sifting through the ruins of the house Wednesday morning after Monarch firefighters finished making sure the fire did not blaze back up again.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.