Columbia Free Times
Lexington News Briefs

Two Children Die in Irmo Fire

Also: Guard Units Welcomed Home

By Al Dozier
Monday, December 23, 2013 |
Two children died in an apartment fire Dec. 18 at St. Andrews Apartments located on St. Andrews Road near I-26.

Jamarion Martin, 5, and his 1-year-old sister, Reghin Stevens, both died after fire engulfed their home shortly before 10 a.m.

According to law enforcement authorities, the children’s father attempted to save them but was unable to get to them because of intense flames.

Investigators said the fire was caused by an electrical problem that ignited a Christmas tree in the home.

Guard Unit Welcomed Home

Gov. Nikki Haley’s husband, Michael Haley, was among more than 40 members of the South Carolina National Guard’s Agribusiness Development Team that returned from an assignment in Afghanistan Dec. 12 at Columbia’s Metropolitan Airport.

Gov. Haley and her two children were among a large crowd of family members gathered to greet the guard unit that has been deployed since January. The group helped train local Afghan farmers with irrigation, fertilizing and crop marketing skills, according the S.C. National Guard.

“We are proud of our great Agribusiness Team and their accomplishments,” S.C. Adjutant General Robert E. Livingston Jr. said. “Under the command of Col. Todd Shealy, they helped create the conditions for a sustainable peace and stable society in southern Afghanistan.”

A few days later on Dec. 16, another member of a well-known Lexington family was welcomed home with his own National Guard unit. Hunter Wilson, son of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, was welcomed by family members at Eagle Aviation Center after serving with the 122nd Engineering Battalion, which was also on an Afghanistan assignment. The unit helped with construction projects and training.

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