Woman found inside smoke-filled West Ashley house identified

Fire and rescue workers on the scene of a fatal fire in West Ashley.

The woman found dead inside a smoke-filled house in West Ashley has been identified.

She was Anne Bello, 81, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.

She lived alone in the single-story brick house at 2358 Brevard Road, a neatly maintained street in Drayton on the Ashley.

Neither the fire nor the death appeared to be suspicious, Charleston County Sheriff’s Maj. Jim Brady said.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire. An autopsy is planned for Thursday to determine the cause of death.

Susan English was out on her porch across the street when she saw heavy black smoke coming from the house around 11 a.m. She tried to knock on the front door and found the surface too hot to touch. She called 911 for help.

Responders included the St. Andrews Fire Department, St. Johns Fire and Rescue and the James Island Fire Department.

Firefighters got the call at 11:18 a.m., St. Andrews Fire Marshal Nathan Murtaugh said. When they arrived, the house was filled with black smoke and flames were in the den in the rear of the house. They cut a hole in the roof to let out the heat and smoke and put out the fire within a few minutes, he said. They found the woman inside the house and called the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

The hole in the roof was the only from outside. Firefighters climbed on the roof and covered the hole with plastic before they left.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or twitter.com/dmunday.

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