Couple killed in fire

By Greg Oliver
Courtesy The Journal

PICKENS — A mobile home fire Friday near Pickens killed an elderly couple.

Pickens County coroner Kandy Kelley said Robert Leon “R.L.” Talley, 70, and Louise E. Talley, 83, of Mt. Bethel Road in Sunset, were pronounced dead at the scene due to smoke inhalation.

Pickens County Rural Fire Chief Billy Gibson said Monday the autopsies were performed Saturday morning. Gibson said firefighters from Pickens City and Pickens County Rural Fire departments, along with the sheriff’s office, responded to the scene after receiving a call just before 9:30 p.m.

“When we arrived, we had bystanders who said Mr. Talley had gotten out (of the mobile home), and we tried to get his wife out,” Gibson said. “However, we were unable to do so.”

Although the man was able to exit the mobile home, Gibson said neither he nor his wife survived.

The chief added that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was called in to assist.

“Due to the amount of damage, we were unable to determine an exact cause,” Gibson said. “But we do believe it to be accidental.”

SLED spokesperson Kathryn Richardson said Monday the investigation is continuing, and there was no further information to release.

Although the cause of the fire is still unknown, the chief said he believes it originated in the living room area. Gibson said the mobile home was totaled, and that has made it virtually impossible to find any smoke detectors.

“We remind people with the change in seasons that they have smoke detectors, that they be changed regularly and suggest it be done with the time changes and for any questions to be directed to their local fire department,” Gibson said.

Gibson added that the American Red Cross is assisting family members with grief support.