MOUNT PLEASANT — A 90-year-old woman died after a fire in her daughter's Park West home Tuesday afternoon.
Anita Limer, a retired third-grade teacher from West Virginia, died from smoke inhalation after the blaze on Clarendon Way, said her grandson, Jason Price. The mother of two children and grandmother of five grandchildren had lived with the family in Mount Pleasant for two years.
Price had just started his shift at The Post and Courier when he got the call about 4:30 p.m. Price, nighttime assistant manager of the newspapers' production department, rushed to East Cooper Regional Medical Center. Twenty minutes later, a nurse delivered the devastating news.
"She's gone," Price said.
Limer's daughter, Sandra Price, and son-in-law, Elbert Price, weren't gone long to pick up a rental car for an out-of-town trip. When they returned home and opened the garage door, black smoke billowed out, and they found Limer on the ground next to one of the cars, said Mount Pleasant Fire Department Battalion Chief Ron Alexander. He said it appeared she was trying to find a way outside.
"Neighbors were performing CPR when we arrived," the chief said.
Alexander said the fire started in the area of the Christmas tree in the living room. Firefighters contained the fire to that area, but much of the home was damaged by thick smoke, Alexander said. He estimated the damages at about $200,000 and said the home is uninhabitable.
"Every Christmas now, it's going to be a reminder for this family," he said.
A man suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation in an unrelated fire about the same time off Remount Road in North Charleston.
Murray Drive resident Patricia Chafins was watching a soap opera when she heard someone banging on the door. She opened it to find her frantic neighbor, who had rushed out of his burning mobile home next door for help.
The man emptied her garbage can, filled it with water from her bathtub and rushed back to try to save the home. She said the man made several trips and at one point came out with a burning blanket around his shoulders.
North Charleston firefighters took over the battle when they arrived a few minutes later, and they quickly doused the blaze, said Bianca Sancic, fire and life safety educator for the North Charleston Fire Department. She said the fire was confined to one bedroom of the home, and the four men who live there can return when electricity is restored.
The man who tried to save his home was treated in an ambulance and released. He would not identify himself or comment on the fire, but he said through an interpreter that he was OK.