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South Carolina couple found dead in home where heater was found to be 1000 degrees, police say

By Janice Limon

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    SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (WYFF) — A South Carolina couple was found dead in their house over the weekend after police said the home heater reached 1,000 degrees, according to a police report.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said Monday officials were still investigating the deaths of the man and woman.

The names of the victims were not released.

In a report from the Spartanburg Police Department, police said they and medics were called just after 6 p.m. Saturday to the home on Woodview Avenue by the family to make a welfare check, since they had not seen their parents since Wednesday.

When officers arrived, they said all doors were locked, but the window leading into the victims’ bedroom bedroom was unsecure, the report said.

They removed the screen to the window and looked into the bedroom saw the couple was dead, according to the report.

Medics pulled themselves through the window to unlock the front door.

Once inside, police noticed the residence was “extremely hot.”

In the bedroom, the man was found laying on the bed unclothed, facing upwards, police said.

They said the woman was at the side of the bed, slouched in a chair and was clothed.

Police said they did not observe any signs of a struggle or any signs of foul play.

The Spartanburg Fire Department was called to check for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, but when they arrived they said they found none.

Police said the body temperatures of the victims measured by medics with a device that went up to 106 degrees, and both victims exceeded that reading.

Family members told police they were at the home last Wednesday, helping their parents with their heater, saying the gas heater and gas hot water heater both were out and the home was getting too cold, according to the report.

The family told police they noticed the pilot light on the hot water heater was out.

They said they started “fiddling” with it, moving a wire, and the pilot light turned on.

Once the light came back on they left the home, police said.

The report said, after a few days of not hearing from their parents they became concerned.

The family said the couple had several health issues and both were not easily mobile, saying the man fell recently and the woman had undergone hip surgery, according to the report.

Fire officials who measured the interior temperature told police the home exceeded 120 degrees and those readings were after the home was open to the cold weather for about 20 minutes, the report said.

They then checked the basement of the home where the heater and hot water heater were located.

According to the report, one firefighter said “the heater was so hot it looked as if the basement was currently on fire.”

Once they realized it was not physically on fire they deactivated the heater.

“They then measured the temperature of the heater itself and measured it at over 1000 degrees,” the report said.

Firefighters continued airing out the home due to the strong odor of natural gas.

Before leaving the scene, the responding officer noticed the thermometer in the home started working again.

“Upon looking at it I stated the residence was at 96 degrees,” the responding officer reported. “It read this temperature after the house was been open for around two and a half hours.”

No other information about the investigation was immediately released by the police department and the coroner’s office.

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