WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WVOC) - West Columbia police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal fire at the Granby Oaks Apartments on September 12th.
Police Chief Dennis Tyndall says the blaze was not intentionally set at the complex on State Street, but the resident who started it, 47-year-old Daniel Dupuy, disregarded the safety of others.
“The cause of the fire was...he lit a cigarette with a Zippo lighter and apparently did not close the lid,” Tyndall says. “And when he left the room and he came back, there was a small fire.
“And he went to collect his belongings as opposed to trying to extinguish the fire. And he did nothing to warn the people and it resulted in a death.”
Authorities say 65-year-old Jay Gross could not be rescued from his second story apartment and died from smoke inhalation.
Several other people went to the hospital also suffering from smoke inhalation.
Eight units in one building were destroyed.
Dupuy has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.