From Greenville Public Affairs Office
On December 13, 2016 at approximately 3:43 a.m., the Greenville Police Department responded to the 4400 Block of Gee Street in reference to a welfare concern. Callers reported to police that a man was roaming the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and awakening residents. Upon arrival officers located the man, who was now claiming he had an explosive device and for everyone to stay away. Officers saw the man holding some type of device just before he entered his residence. Officers secured the scene as they began to smell the odor of natural gas.
At approximately 3:53 a.m. the Greenville Fire Department responded to 4404 Gee Street for a possible gas leak. Upon arrival, fire units were told by police personnel already on scene that a person was threatening to blow up his apartment and quite possibly had some type of incendiary or explosive device. Very soon after, an explosion occurred at the residence and a small fire was seen emanating from inside the structure. Without knowing whether a threat still existed from the subject, defensive tactics were instituted that prioritized the safety of on-scene personnel. Unfortunately, this inhibited fire personnel from performing effective fire suppression tactics and immediately extinguishing the fire.
Once the fire built to untenable levels, the aerial ladder was deployed and suppression activities were performed on the exterior of the building. This resulted in heavy fire damage to the 2nd floor of the structure. A regional bomb squad was called in to clear the structure before additional units were allowed inside for investigation. Once the structure was cleared, fire department units located one deceased male in the southwest corner of the 2nd floor. Justice of the Peace Money responded to the scene. No one else was injured.
The exact cause of the fire is currently unknown and the incident is still under investigation. No further information to release at this time.