Mom dies, boyfriend critically burned while saving children in SC house fire


POWDERSVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Anderson County Coroner’s Office officials said a woman died and two other people were flown to an area burn center following a house fire early Friday morning in Powdersville.

According to Anderson County dispatch, crews from Anderson County and Greenville County responded at about 4:50 a.m. to a home on Traybon Court.

Anderson County Deputy Coroner Don McCown said when fire crews arrived on-scene, they found the home engulfed in flames, as well as four of the victims outside of the home.

According to the coroner’s office, five people were in the home at the time of the fire — two adults and three children.

One of the adults, a woman, was found in a bedroom while crews were extinguishing the fire. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The coroner’s office identified her as Kristen Nichole Johnson, 34, and said she died as a result of smoke inhalation and severe thermal injuries.

McCown said Johnson was living at the home with her three children and her boyfriend.

A man and a child were also injured in the fire and were flown to the Augusta burn center for treatment of their critical injuries.

The two other children in the home were able to escape the fire and were not injured. McCown says those children informed officials it was the boyfriend who saved them by breaking out a window.

“According to them, it was the gentleman who was here who was able to get them out. He sustained burns but was able to get them out prior to them getting any burns or even getting exposed to the smoke,” McCown said.

Officials said when a tragedy affects children it can be especially hard.

“It’s not easy for us but we know what our job is and we still make sure it’s done,” Anderson County Fire Chief Jimmy Sutherland said.

Officials said the deadly fire was difficult for the community.

“We’re five days away from Christmas. so this is pretty emotional for everybody,” McCown, a senior investigator for the Anderson County Coroner’s office said.

“Kids take more of an emotional toll than anybody, because we’re supposed to be their protectors,” McCown said.

According to the coroner’s office, the damage to the home was extensive and the cause of the fire remains under investigation by the coroner’s office and the Anderson County Fire Investigation Unit.

McCown said there appears to be no indication of foul play and an autopsy will be conducted on Monday.

The Red Cross is also assisting the family.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories