Fire victim identified

Jonathan Boone, who lived in this mobile home at 116 Boone Lane in Pineville, died in a fire Wednesday morning.

PINEVILLE -- The man who perished in a fire Wednesday morning at his home loved literature, animals and the outdoors.

Jonathan Boone, 57, died of respiratory arrest due to smoke inhalation, according to Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury. Salisbury ruled the death accidental.

Boone grew up in rural Berkeley County and moved to the white mobile home on a dirt road named for his family about 20 years ago, according to his daughter, Jaquetta Boone. His daughter said friends called her father "Bubba Boone," and that they often asked him to speak at funerals and church functions.

"He was something else," Jaquetta Boone said. "He was one of a kind."

Someone driving by Boone's home in Pineville shortly after 8 a.m. called 911 after spotting the fire. Firefighters from Cross, Eadytown and St. Stephen arrived to find the home engulfed in flames.

Officials removed Boone's body shortly thereafter, and investigators from the Sheriff's Office and the State Law Enforcement Division arson team came to the scene. Family members also gathered alongside S.C. Highway 45, their cars lining the roadway in front of Boone's home.

Jaquetta Boone said her father dropped out of high school because of a heart condition that plagued him his entire life. She said he earned his GED but never could work a full-time job. She didn't know if the condition would have prevented him from escaping the blaze.

She described her father as a church-going man who loved to read everything from Greek mythology to the classics to the Bible. She said he took special pride in his yard, where a yucca plant and a shaped topiary bush rise up from perfectly cut grass.

Jaquetta Boone said her father also had a son, his namesake, who serves in the Army. He also left behind a dog who survived the fire and who guarded the home Wednesday morning, even from investigators, even with its owner gone.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or on Twitter at @allysonjbird.