LAURENS COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A fire on Christmas night has destroyed a home in Laurens County.

The owner of the home said that people were renting it from him for about three months. He said the fire destroyed everything.

Billy Leopard said he’s lived in the area for decades.

“I remember when the house was built, I even helped build the house. That goes back 60 years or so,” said Leopard.

He said he has been renting the house out for 15 years.

“You know, you get attached to things like that, so, it do hurt,” he said. “The best friend I ever had, lived there all those years.”

He said he remembers the area before the home was built.

“We used to farm all this land when I was a kid,” he said.

Leopard said he believes the people renting the house from him are responsible for the fire.

“I know they are, I know they are,” said Leopard.

He showed 7NEWS a video, that’s dated December 18, that he believes was taken by the renters inside the home he owns.

“You miss it and to see somebody deliberately burn it is worse,” said Leopard.

Tara McCumber lives next to the burnt house. She said she called 911 that night after she and her husband smelled smoke.

“When he comes out and he was like holy crap, you know, the house is on fire, and I was like, what?” said McCumber.

She said she and her husband tried to keep the fire from spreading and grabbed their hoses.

“So, we could start wetting down the house and the roof and the pine trees next to it, trying to keep it from catching fire. The embers and ashes were landing on it,” she said. “Then, fire trucks started pulling up left and right and lined up on both sides of the road.”

As of Wednesday, she said the smell is still lingering.

“It’s been smoldering for a couple days now, you can still kind of smell it,” said McCumber.

McCumber said the incident was traumatic for everyone, including her little boy.

“That night was really emotional for him and it was for me too, because I was like, oh my gosh, they’re way too close,” she said. “What a Christmas, you know?”

“I just can’t do anything anymore, I can’t stand up about 10 minutes or so. I can’t walk, I fell four times yesterday,” said Leopard.

The Fire Chief for the Joanna Fire Department said the cause of the fire is most likely accidental.

7NEWS reached out to the renters to see if they want to talk, Wednesday evening, and at the time this article was written, haven’t heard back.

7NEWS is also waiting for information from the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.