One man died Thursday night in a fire at Granby Oaks apartment complex after authorities were unable to rescue him from a second-story window.
Jay A. Gross, 65, of West Columbia was killed by smoke inhalation, according to an autoposy performed Friday.
Capt. Billy McLemore with the West Columbia Fire Department said the four-unit building on State Street, across from Parkland Plaza, was more than 70 percent engulfed in flames when they arrived about 8:30 p.m. When they arrived, firefighters found Gross in a second-floor window, unable to get out. The firefighters were unable to rescue him.
The State Law Enforcement Division and West Columbia Police Department are investigating the fire, which gutted the building where the fire started. Capt. Seth Zeigler with the West Columbia PD said no new information would be released until investigators had “concrete facts.” That could be Saturday, he said.
The Red Cross is providing impacted residents with temporary lodging in a nearby hotel, financial assistance to purchase food, clothing and other emergency items, comfort kits (which included basic hygiene items), as well as emotional counseling, if needed.