SLED takes over Greenwood apt. explosion, fire investigation


Five people are recovering in the hospital after an explosion and fire at a Greenwood apartment complex. 

According to Greenwood Police the incident happened around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday at the apartment complex on Independence Way. Investigators tell 7News three adults were hurt, two of them were airlifted to the burn center in Augusta, Ga., and two children were taken to Upstate hospitals. 

On Sunday afternoon, Rodolfo Hernandez walked through the charred rubble of what was once his family’s apartment. Hernandez says around midnight his family went to sleep with plans to wake up Sunday morning for church. 

“Around 2:15 to 2:20 in the morning… you heard an explosion,” Hernandez told 7News. 

The Greenwood Deputy Fire Marshal says when emergency and fire crews arrived at the complex it was already engulfed in flames following the possible explosion. 

“So at this point we have no idea what actually caused the explosion?” Asked 7News Reporter Stefany Bornman. 

“No ma’am, it’s still under investigation,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Travis Lathren. “It just takes some time to go through the debris and get all the information collected.” 

Witnesses tell 7News the loud boom roared for miles. The explosion sent doors and windows flying towards the street and damaged cars parked in front of the apartments. 

Hernandez says his family barely made it out alive. 

“I felt when the wall of the living room fell on top of me,” he said. “The roof of the house… the apartment on top of me.” 

The father of two says it all happened so quickly. Still he can’t erase from his memory the sound of his wife screaming that their 3-month-old was buried beneath a slab of concrete. 

“I thought I was going to find him dead,” Hernandez  said. 

Hernandez and his family were able to get out of the complex with help from neighbors, before the apartment caught on fire. His children were taken to Self Regional Hospital, however his 3-month-old was later transported to Greenville for a head injury. 

Still, Hernandez is counting his blessings. “Thank God, we’re alive… and that’s the most important thing. We’re alive,” he said. 

The Greenwood Fire Department asked SLED to take over the investigation into what caused the explosion and fire at the complex. 

Hernandez tells 7News a blood test, administered at the hospital, determined there was no gas residue in his blood stream. 

The Red Cross has made arrangements, for the 4 families displaces, to stay in a hotel on Sunday night. 

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