ANDERSON COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A woman died Wednesday afternoon in a fire at a home in Anderson County.
The Anderson County Coroner’s Office said in a release, that 61-year-old Connie Clark Panagakos was found in her bedroom by firefighters in her home on River Road in Piedmont.
The Coroner’s Office said the 911 call came in around 1:20 p.m.
So far, detectives believe Panagakos died from smoke inhalation from the fire.
A dog in the home also died.
“We strongly suggest the victim was overcome by smoke and died of smoke inhalation,” said Chief Deputy Coroner Don McCown. “The damage to the home was pretty extensive.”
One man said he saw the flames.
“When I walked outside, the house was engulfed in smoke. So, I walked down the road and it kind of scared me because I saw a car sitting out in the driveway,” the witness said. “I thought it was going to burn to the ground the way it was smoking so bad.”
Pam Williams said she has known the family for decades.
“I was just so sad. You know, I just really–I love Connie and I love her girls because I’ve known them all their lives,” Williams said. “I just really hate this happened. They’ve just had a lot of sadness.”
“You know she lost her grandson. They’ve just had a lot to deal with. So, I really am sorry about,” Williams said.
There’s no word on what caused the fire, but the coroner said that foul play is not suspected at this time.
Until more answers surface, many nearby residents said they are sending their condolences to the family.
“I never think it would come to this. I just really hate it,” Williams said. “Kind of a sad thing. I just pray for those girls and all the other family,” she said.
“It hits home. It does, especially when you see everybody come rushing in, the family come in too, but just hoping and praying for the family,” the witness said.
The Anderson County Coroner’s Office, the Anderson County Fire Investigation Unit, and the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.
An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning.