Woman, 79, dies after fire at Columbia County home



A woman pulled from a burning home died Friday night.

Agatha Murphy, 79, died at Joseph M. Still Burn Center at 11:07 p.m. Friday from complications of smoke inhalation, according to Harriett Garrison, Columbia County’s deputy coroner.

Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue personnel pulled Murphy from her burning home Thursday after a neighbor reported the blaze about 1:30 p.m. at the Sir Galahad Drive home Murphy shared with her son-in-law, Richard Thigpen. Thigpen is a Savannah River Site firefighter and board member, volunteer and chaplain for Martinez-Columbia, its spokesman Jeremy Wallen said.

When firefighters arrived, they found flames shooting from the roof of the two-story house, Wallen said.

The fire took nearly two hours to contain.

Fire officials believe the fire started in the downstairs den but the cause has not been determined, Wallen said. The state fire marshal’s office will continue to investigate, which is protocol when a firefighter’s home is involved, he said.

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