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S.C. woman dies after foil-wrapped sandwich in microwave causes house fire

Sumter County deputies tried to enter the house and rescue the woman


Sumter Fire Department apparatus.

Sumter Fire Department/Facebook

By Noah Feit
The State

SUMTER, S.C. A South Carolina woman died after she was removed from a recent house fire, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Tommie Ruth Jackson, a 67-year-old Sumter resident, was identified as the victim, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Both Jackson and her sister lived in a Kolb Road home, where emergency responders went about 8:40 p.m. on May 23 after a 911 call about a fire, according to the release.

When deputies got to the home, they saw smoke billowing from the burning building and someone outside screaming for help, the sheriff’s office said.

One of the two residents had escaped the home and directed a deputy to a window where they believed the other resident — later identified as Jackson — remained inside, according to the release.

When deputies forced the door open, they were met with thick smoke that made it impossible to enter, the sheriff’s office said.

Sumter County Fire Department personnel worked to rescue Jackson and extinguish the fire, according to the release.

When Jackson was removed from the home, emergency medical service personnel worked to save her life and she was taken by ambulance to Prisma Health Tuomey hospital, the sheriff’s office said.

Jackson’s cause of death has not been determined, but the sheriff’s office said an autopsy will be conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

No other injuries were reported.

Authorities, which included the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Sumter Fire Department, said the fire was accidental.

A witness said a resident tried to warm up a sandwich — in a package that contained aluminum foil — in the microwave, according to the release. The sandwich wrapper inside the microwave burst into flames and attempts to extinguish the fire failed, the sheriff’s office said.

The authorities determined that poor living conditions hindered extinguishing the fire and facilitated its spread, the sheriff’s office said.

There was no word about the extent of the damages to the property, and if the home was considered a total loss.

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