Andrew Dys

Soldier from Rock Hill armory escapes fire with family, but loses home

A sergeant who is an Afghanistan veteran and works full time at the Rock Hill National Guard armory has lost everything after his home burned down Sunday.

Sgt. 1st Class Charles Ferguson, 38, his wife, Monica, and three daughters ages 18, 15, and 4 escaped the accidental fire started by a candle outside the home in Cherokee County a few miles west of the York County line. But the house and everything inside was destroyed.

“We were able to get out but we don’t have anything left,” Ferguson said. “But we are safe. My family is OK. That’s what is important.”

The family escaped the 3 a.m. fire with only the clothes on their backs.

Ferguson said he has insurance, and the American Red Cross assisted with emergency money for a hotel and food and clothes.

Ferguson was deployed to Afghanistan with area units from Fort Mill and Welford in 2009 and 2010. He currently works at the armory in Rock Hill, where the 178th Combat Engineer Battalion has its headquarters. The Family Readiness group for the unit, which helps soldiers and families, along with the veterans affairs offices in York and Gaffney, are assisting Ferguson.

“When one of our soldiers is in need, we do all we can and Sgt. Ferguson right now needs our help and the help of the community,” said Anne Cash, Family Readiness Group coordinator.

Joe Medlin, command sergeant major for the 178th whose civilian job is Veterans Services Officer for York County, said the military and veterans offices are also assisting Ferguson.

Clothes are the most urgent need, Medlin said.