Sumter County Double Fatal Fire- Suspect Arrested

22479846_BG1SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) -A Kentucky man has been arrested and charged with arson following a house fire in Sumter County that killed two people. Sumter County Sheriff’s Deputies started investigating the case after two bodies were found in a fire that destroyed a house on Barnwell Drive Saturday. Firefighters found the bodies of two elderly people in the debris after the fire was out.

An autopsy was performed Sunday, but the Sumter County Coroner’s office says it does not expect to release the identities of the victims until Monday. Sheriff’s investigators suspect the victims are the grandparents of 20-year-old Joseph Manners.

Deputies say Manners had been living at the home for the past several months. Deputies were called to the home previously to investigate a report of domestic violence, but the grandmother did not press charges in the incident.

A witness told investigators that as the house burned, a small, white car left the driveway of the home and sped away north on Barnwell Drive.

Investigators learned that the homeowners had three vehicles registered in their names, and they found two of them at the home. They checked the registration of the third vehicle, which was missing, and it was a white Honda Accord.

Deputies notified other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the vehicle, which was possibly being driven by Manners, who is from Edgewood, KY.

Early Sunday morning, police in Erlanger, KY spotted the vehicle on Interstate 75 and attempted to pull it over, but the driver crossed the Ohio River into Cincinnati. Cincinnati officers found the vehicle and arrested the driver after he drove the car into the Ohio River and ran away. The driver was identified as Manners.

He is being held in Cincinnati and is awaiting extradition to South Carolina to face an arson charge. Deputies expect to file additional charges this week.

Sumter County Sheriff’s Deputies started investigating the case after two bodies were found in a fire that destroyed a house on Barnwell Drive Saturday.  Firefighters found the bodies of two elderly people in the debris after the fire was out.

An autopsy was performed Sunday, but the Sumter County Coroner’s office says it does not expect to release the identities of the victims until Monday.  Sheriff’s investigators suspect the victims are the grandparents of 20-year-old Joseph Manners.

Deputies say Manners had been living at the home for the past several months.  Deputies were called to the home previously to investigate a report of domestic violence, but the grandmother did not press charges in the incident.

A witness told investigators that as the house burned, a small, white car left the driveway of the home and sped away north on Barnwell Drive.

Investigators learned that the homeowners had three vehicles registered in their names, and they found two of them at the home. They checked the registration of the third vehicle, which was missing, and it was a white Honda Accord.

Deputies notified other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the vehicle, which was possibly being driven by Manners, who is from Edgewood, KY.

Early Sunday morning, police in Erlanger, KY spotted the vehicle on Interstate 75 and attempted to pull it over,  but the driver crossed the Ohio River into Cincinnati. Cincinnati officers found the vehicle and arrested the driver after he drove the car into the Ohio River and ran away. The driver was identified as Manners.

He is being held in Cincinnati and is awaiting extradition to South Carolina to face an arson charge. Deputies expect to file additional charges this week.

About Todd Pruitt

Owner- SConFire.com and currently a career Fire Captain. Past Operations Chief for Greater Valley EMS & Rescue in Sayre, PA and Volunteer Truck Captain in the City of Salisbury, MD. Over 25 Years of Experience in Emergency Services.