BARNWELL COUNTY, SC (WFXG) - A Barnwell woman was found dead inside her house Friday morning after a fire was reported, according to the Barnwell County Coroner's Office.
Donna Dempsey, 56, was found dead at about 10:45 a.m. at 111 Berry St., according to the coroner's office. Her fiance found her body and reported the fire. The people that knew her are coming to grips with what happened.
"When her light burned at night, my light burned at night, we could keep check on one another," said Dempsey's neighbor, Joann O'neal.
It's a sad day on Berry Street. O'Neal said that she won't see Donna Dempsey's porch light across the street from her home anymore.
The coroner in Barnwell said Dempsey's fiance called firefighters after he said he opened her front door and black smoke came roaring out. Firefighters pronounced Dempsey dead when they got there..
Her neighbor said she's broken hearted, and that Dempsey was one of a kind.
"She was a sweet person. A dedicated person. Anyway she could help out she did it," O'Neal said.
The Barnwell police department and the coroner's office is looking into how she died. In the meantime, Dempsey's neighbors are saddened that there's one less porch light on the block.
"There's no light, there's no Donna. You know, she's going to be missed," O'neal said.
An autopsy is scheduled for this weekend, according to the coroner's office.
SLED Arson, the police department and the coroner's office are investigating the death.