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Investigator | Gasoline determined cause of fatal Horry County fire

Horry County fire investigators determined a fatal fire that occurred earlier this month in Little River got out of control because a man poured gasoline on it, but they continue to seek information about the incident, according to Deputy Fire Investigator Kevin Rainier.

Leonard Price, 25, died Jan. 14 in Chapel Hill, N.C., from injuries suffered in the fire, which occurred the previous day, Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said

Price had an outdoor debris fire burning and an investigation showed he poured gasoline on the fire and it caught the gas can on fire, which exploded, Rainier said. The fire occurred on Duberry Farm Road where Price had been working.

“It’s not recommended to use any flammable materials on any type of fire. Under no circumstances should it be used,” Rainier said. “That’s not what [gasoline] is intended to be used for.”

It was unclear if Price started the fire to burn debris or for heat when the incident occurred, Rainier said. No other people were nearby and investigators are searching for any witnesses or anyone with information about the fire.

The property owner was in the area, but not near Price when the incident occurred, Rainier said.

Price was flown by helicopter to a Chapel Hill, N.C., burn center and a 34-year-old man was taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for injuries.

Anyone with information about the incident can call Horry County Fire Rescue investigators at 347-2307.