Family members have confirmed that the person killed in a late-night fire on Columbia Avenue was Aiken resident Thomas Jerome Butler.
One person was found dead inside the home on the 400 block of Columbia Avenue, where the Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to a structure fire at about midnight last night, police said. Upon arriving at the scene, they saw fire coming from the roof of the home. Police and firefighters later found the victim inside.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the victim; however, several neighbors and family members of Butler stood behind yellow crime tape outside the home this morning.
Butler's niece, Mae Davis, recalled her uncle as "a fun, outspoken guy."
"He told jokes all the time. Everyone knew him," she said, adding that "most people called him T.J."
"I just can't find words right now," Davis said. "He was more than an uncle to me."
Aiken Public Safety and the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division are investigating the cause of the fire.