A fire early this morning heavily damaged a home occupied by a man and woman and five young children.
Capt. Tony Gregory, City of Union fire commander, said the blaze at the home of Nathaniel Bookman on 510 South Pinckney St. was reported around 12:39 a.m. The Bookmans, who rented the house from Beverly Russell, were not at home when the fire started.
The neighborhood where the fire occurred has been plagued by arson fires in the past several years, but Gregory said he did not think arson was the case in this fire. Most of the fires started by the arsonist were at vacant structures and were started by someone setting fire to paper or cloth on a porch or under the structure. Gregory said when firefighters arrived at this morning's blaze, the house had not been broken into.
“The cause is still undetermined but this fire appeared to have originated inside the house in the kitchen area,” Gregory said. “Most of the fire damage was in the ceiling area. When it burned it went up a wall, got into the ductwork, worked its way into the attic and broke through.”
Union County EMS and the Union County Fire and Rescue Squad also were called to the fire after neighbors told firefighters they feared some of the family might be inside.
Firefighters remained on the scene of the fire until 6:24 a.m. today.
Gregory said the Union Service Center of the American Red Cross is assisting the Bookman family. One of the children attends Buffalo Elementary School and the other four attend Excelsior Middle School.