News 12 First at Five / Monday, May 27, 2013
WAGENER, S.C. (WRDW) -- The Aiken County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cause of a suspicious house fire that started Monday morning in Wagener.
The call came in around 9 a.m. that a mobile home on the 200 block of Honeysuckle Trail was on fire.
Andrew Sampson lives near the home that caught on fire. He says the only smoke he was expecting to see was from his barbecue.
"Barbecuing and having a good time. Wasn't expecting no houses to be on fire," he said.
Crews arrived to find the fire fully engulfing the mobile home. Wagener called in backup from three other fire crews, but Assistant Fire Chief Russell Redd says it was still an uphill battle.
"Had three firefighters that went through the floor. They were checked by EMS and released. Nobody was transported," he said.
No one was home at the time of the fire. Family and friends say that's because the homeowner, Robert Corley, is in jail.
Sampson says, "How did it get on fire? The man's locked up."
Corley's family says the power to the home had been turned off.
Neighbor and friend of Corley, Fredrick Sampson, says, "I feel like this house fire was started by somebody."
Investigators agree. They have classified the fire as "suspicious," and the Aiken County Sheriff's Office is investigating the cause.
Neighbors say it makes them uneasy because this isn't the first time something like this has happened.
"This is the second fire that has happened on this road. The last fire, my homeboy got killed in it," Fredrick said.
Fire crews were able to contain the fire after a couple of hours, but they say the home is a total loss.