3 rescued from burning Orangeburg home; man charged with arson

Officers rescued three people from a burning apartment on Wednesday afternoon on Summers Avenue, according to an Orangeburg Department of Public Safety incident report.

A 31-year-old man allegedly called 9-1-1 at 5:22 p.m. saying he “was about to commit suicide and burn clothes inside the residence with himself and other people inside,” according to a warrant.

When officers arrived on the scene, they weren’t able to get anyone to come to the front door.

At the back of the apartment, an officer noted a “smell like a grill had just been started” and radioed for dispatchers to tone out a structure fire.

The bottom right room was fully engulfed in flames and heavy black smoke billowed from the home, the report states.

Officers detained Ephraim Washington, of 957 Glover Street, at the scene.

The officers went inside the burning home and got three additional people out. The other occupants told officers that they didn’t know there was a fire until officers entered the home and shouted for them to get out, the report states.

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Officers also rescued one of the tenant’s dogs from the second floor.

Two other tenants weren’t home at the time of the fire.

Victim’s services ensured the displaced tenants had places to stay for the night.

Washington was charged with second-degree arson.

An officer claims that Washington told her that he has disorganized schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the report states.

Washington allegedly told the officer that he doesn’t take his medication as he should and when people abandon him, he gets upset, the report states.

Officers transported Washington to the Regional Medical Center. As of Thursday afternoon, he was not yet booked into the Orangeburg County Detention Center.

The estimated damage to the structure is $50,000.

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