One person dead after fire at Columbia apartment complex

The fire started at an apartment complex near the Palmetto Health Richland complex.

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)- Authorities say a cigarette caused a fire that killed a woman in an apartment in Columbia.

According to the Columbia Fire Department, the fire started at Colonial Village Apartments near the Palmetto Health Richland complex. The initial call came in at 8:50 a.m Tuesday.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they reported heavy smoke.

Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said maintenance workers at the apartment could hear the woman screaming inside the apartment Tuesday morning, but could not get inside.

Jenkins says the fire started in the living room after a cigarette did not get extinguished.

According to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, Elloise Raney, 59, was the only casualty in the fire.

Watts announced Wednesday that Raney died from smoke inhalation attributed to the Fire.

Chief Aubrey Jenkins said the unit that burned is a total loss, valued at $50,000. Two other people living at the complex were displaced.

Residents say this is the second fire at the complex in about six weeks.

The Columbia Fire Department is continuing the investigation.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)