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Friday, January 25, 2013
NORTH AUGUSTA — A woman has been charged with a felony count of arson following a house fire at Longleaf Court Friday, according to North Augusta Public Safety.
The house was destroyed in the fire, which firefighters from over half a dozen area departments attempted to extinguish for approximately three hours.
A follow-up investigation into the cause and origin of the fire determined that a resident of the home, Carrie Knotts, started the fire intentionally, reported Lt. Tim Thornton.
Public Safety detectives joined with the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division's Arson Investigation Unit to determine Knotts used turpentine as an accelerant to start the fire, according to a press release. Knotts has been arrested and formally charged.
Thornton said an emergency 911 call was received shortly after 1 p.m. on Friday. The first on the scene was an Aiken County sheriff's deputy. The deputy made contact with Knotts outside of the home. The other inhabitant of the home is reportedly currently out of town and accounted for.
When responders got to the house, they found it engulfed in flames, according to Thornton.
Firefighters and responders from North Augusta, Aiken County, Belvedere, Beech Island, Midland Valley and Merriweather were at the scene.
“The severity of the situation is that the house is gone,” Thornton. “It is a total loss and it has burned to the foundation. The firefighters could not make a successful attempt.”
Knotts, 46, has been booked by North Augusta Public Safety and later transported to the Aiken County detention facility.
No firefighter was injured during the battle.