16-year-old dies months after Union Co. explosion


UNION COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A teenager has died after being critically injured in a Union County fire.

We previously reported the incident happened on July 13 in what deputies say may have been an explosion.

According to a sheriff’s office report, deputies responded to a commercial structure fire in the 3400 block of Janie Glymph Goree Boulevard in Carlisle.

When deputies arrived, they spoke with a witness who heard an explosion at that location.

Union County Sheriff David Taylor says the origin of the fire was natural or propane gas, but what sparked it is still under investigation.

“There was leak tests done by the company that filled up the tanks, right now we really don’t know, don’t know that we ever will know what actually sparked the fire,” said Sheriff Taylor.

The witness told deputies that he saw a man getting off of a riding lawn mower and was running toward a burning building.

According to the report, the witness helped rescue a 16-year-old boy from the front door of the burning building.

The 16-year-old was flown to Augusta Burn Center in Georgia, where he later died.

The coroner identified the victim as 16-year-old Cole Harris.

Union County Coroner William Holcombe said in a news release that his office was notified of Harris’ death on Oct. 12.

Harris suffered burns to 92 percent of his body in the fire, Holcombe said.

“Very tragic situation, young man, life before him, it’s just a terrible situation,” said Sheriff Taylor.

The funeral for Cole Harris will be Saturday, October 19th at 3:00pm at Outreach Deliverance Church, 4317 King Kennedy Street, Carlisle, SC 29031.

Harris was a student at Union County High School, according to a Facebook post by the school.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office, the Carlisle Volunteer Fire Department, the Santuc Volunteer Fire Department, along with other agencies are continuing to investigate.

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