An overnight fire injured three people and destroyed a house on Camden Avenue in Rock Hill.
Firefighters and EMS were called to the home around 3:30 a.m., said Battalian Chief Ben Funderburk. The fire was fully engulfed when crews arrived and took more than 20 officials about three hours to clear the scene.
The blaze caused extensive damage to the home, he said. The loss was estimated at about $70,000.
Johnathan Lowry, 23, and his girlfriend Emma Jo Hampton, 19, lived in the rental home with one of their friends. The three were prepared to sign a new lease Tuesday.
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Lowry and Hampton were treated at the scene by EMS, and their roommate was taken to the hospital, but none of the injuries were critical.
The origin of the fire is still under investigation.
Lowry had just gone to bed when he smelled the fire. He attempted to put it out, but it was too much.
Hampton, who was asleep upstairs, heard screams.
“I didn’t wake up until everyone was screaming,” she said. “As soon as I woke up, I raised up and my whole room was full of black smoke.”
She tossed her prized possession — an Alvarez guitar — out of the window and crawled out onto a portion of the roof. Her roommate hoisted her down, and she fell into her fiance’s arms. The roommate hurt his arm on the hot roof, but Hampton escaped with a scraped knee.
“It’s a miracle, it really is,” Elliot said.
Lowry had attended the Savannah College of Art and Design on scholarship and moved back to Rock Hill to be closer to family. Hampton lived one street over with her mother, and the two fell in love.
Emma Elliott, Hampton’s mother, said she has always liked Lowry.
“He’s a very smart and caring person,” she said.
The American Red Cross is assisting the three, who lost everything in the blaze. They’re wearing borrowed and donated clothes while staying in a local hotel.
Lowry and Hampton are grateful to be alive.
“We’re all safe,” Lowry said. “I’m blown away by all the help we’ve been given in a short amount of time. It’s amazing.”
Video: Victim describes how she escaped fire