PICS: Arson Team Investigates Greenville Co. ‘Castle’ Fire - WSPA.com

PICS: Arson Team Investigates Greenville Co. ‘Castle’ Fire

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TAYLORS, S.C. - The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Arson Team sifted through the ash and rubble of a well-known Greenville County home for clues, investigating whether someone set the fire on purpose.

Crews first got the call early Sunday morning and raced to that scene on Locust Hill Road in Taylors.

Beyond the caution tape and long gated driveway, the house that used to be known as “The Castle" was still smoldering Monday.

Across the street, David Gilbert woke up to find charred debris all over his property.

“The next morning, I got up and there was ash all over the yard, and all over my garden, and everything. And I said, 'What the heck is this?'" said Gilbert.
 

That's when he saw “The Castle” was a pile of rubble.

“The place was gone," he said.

Nothing was left standing but twisted steel beams.

Piedmont Park Fire Department Assistant Chief Travis Cone said his department came prepared with a pre-fire plan for “The Castle.”

“It's one of the things that we had always contemplated in our mind. That's why we do pre-fire plans to prepare for the 'what if.' The 'if' happened the other night,” said Cone.

He said the plan helped firefighters know the best way to tackle the fire and where the closest water supply was when they got on scene.

“Any commercial structure has a pre-fire plan in our district and many others throughout Greenville County and throughout the state,” said Cone. “We don't really do them that much with residentials unless one could create a hazard to us. In this case, the castle was one of those that met the priorities for us to go and do a pre-fire plan.”

Now investigators are looking into whether the fire could be the work of an arsonist.

Cone said power to the house was shut off before the fire, so that eliminates the possibility of an electrical hazard.

Cone said it could be weeks to months before this investigation is over.

As investigators sift through the evidence, the idea of a crime scene across the street has Gilbert on edge.         

“We felt pretty safe and secure here, but now we've got second thoughts about this. It's a little disconcerting that something like that could happen this close to our house," said Gilbert.

“The Castle” was built in 1985 and it's had numerous owners since then. Realtor Ron Mason said it's been vacant two years, before foreclosure about six months ago. He said he had just worked out a contract with a new buyer.

Arson Team Investigates Greenville Co. ‘Castle’ Fire

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Arson Team sifted through the ash and rubble of a well-known Greenville County home for clues, investigating whether someone set the fire on purpose.

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