House destroyed in ‘suspicious’ Tega Cay area fire

joverman@fortmilltimes.comOctober 22, 2013 

State law enforcement agents investigated a Tuesday morning house fire off Gold Hill Road just outside Tega Cay.

The fire was ruled suspicious, according to investigators.

“One of our detectives is out there, and SLED has come in to assist,” said Trent Farris, spokesman for the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Donnie Helms, a York County fire investigator, was at the scene along with three other inspectors Tuesday afternoon.

Both Farris and Helms said investigators didn’t know the source of the fire.

“We’re just getting started,” Helms said. “There could be a thousand things that start a fire.”

Investigators said flames were still shooting through the roof of the house 45 minutes after the fire was called in at around 10 a.m., and the garage door was blown off the house into a tree near the driveway.

Smoke was visible from several miles away.

The homeowner, Richard Fekete, said no one was home at the time of the blaze and that a neighbor called it in. Fekete said he has lived at the residence for seven years and that he was at work a short distance away at Gold Hill Automotive.

By about 11 a.m. it appeared the fire had been extinguished, but smoke was still billowing from the house.

No injuries were reported, officials said.

Helms called the house “a total loss” and said the property has an assessed valuation of $241,000.

Fekete could not be reached for comment after he left his property earlier Tuesday.

Fort Mill Times Editor Michael Harrison and The Herald’s news partner, WSOC-TV, contributed.

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