The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has not uncovered any evidence of criminal activity thus far in the investigation of a man found deceased in the burned debris left from a small building that was consumed by fire on November 21, 2018.
An autopsy was conducted on Thanksgiving morning and detectives present during that examination were not provided any information or evidence indicating that Mr. Rickey A. Johnson died by any other means outside of what is normally found in incidents where someone becomes either trapped or disoriented during a structure fire.
Interviews with the surviving girlfriend who also was injured during the event have provided the only eye witness details of the moments leading up to the building becoming completely engulfed by fire.
The girlfriend (60yoa) states that only she and the victim were residing in the small structure that resembled a large storage building. The residents were using propane heaters to warm the interior and on the morning of the incident they observed flames near a propane heater.
The victim and witness approached the only door to the exterior when the victim turned around as if to gather some personal items. He never exited the door before it became totally consumed by flames. The victim’s dog also perished in the fire.
An extensive search of the scene did not uncover any evidence that would indicate that the fire was intentionally set or that any type accelerant was used to start the fire.
Detectives will wait for the final results that will come from routine, toxicology tests performed on the victim before making a final determination. Agents from the SC Law Enforcement Division are assisting the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.