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Investigators Look For Clues At Scene Of Deadly House Fire In Colleton County

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State investigators sifted through the remains of a house in Colleton County nearly destroyed by a massive fire on Friday morning. Its where rescue crews found the body of a man and his dog. Neighbors say they watched as the building burned.

"It was just a huge ball of orange. And then smoke," recalled Becky Hogan, a friend and longtime neighbor.

She lives across Augusta Highway from where 70-year-old Billy Lee, Jr. was found dead inside the charred remains. She woke up to fierce flames and fire trucks nearby.

"We talked with the family members and comforted them as best we could. It's just a tragic situation," she said.

Firefighters say drivers who were passing by noticed the blaze and called 911.

"When the first crews arrived, there was fire all the way through the roof," explained Chris Jones, Battalion Chief for Colleton County Fire Rescue.

He said their fast response wasn't enough to beat the searing heat and ferocious fire.

"There was no going inside to execute rescues or anything like that because all attempts would have been futile," Jones said.

It was a deadly scene where friends like Becky Hogan reflected on a huge loss.

"We just want to remember the family as they deal with the circumstances that they woke up to," she said.

Family members live on both sides of Billy Lee, Jr's house. They weren't able to rescue their brother. SLED and state fire marshals are trying to figure out how the fire started.

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