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Kerosene Thrown Into Wood-Burning Stove Kills 5 in South Carolina Family

January 10, 1988|United Press International

KINGSTREE, S.C. — Five people were killed when one of them threw kerosene into a wood-burning stove, sending an exploding fireball through a suburban home, officials said.

A 17-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl survived the blast, said Billy Horton, Kingstree Rural Fire Department chief.

Killed were James T. Cooper, 55, who owned the home; his aunt, Queenie Sesson, 84; his 33-year-old daughter, Mary Lou Cooper; his granddaughter, Holly, 3, and Cooper's niece, Lille Mae Brunson, 32, Williamsburg County Coroner Harrison McKnight said.

Horton said Brunson is believed to have been responsible for throwing kerosene into the stove to make it burn hotter, Horton said.

All the victims but Brunson died of smoke inhalation, McKnight said.

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