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One man dead, police officer praised for actions at apartment fire in Irmo area of Lexington County

Irmo, SC 01/02/24 (Paul Kirby) – One man has died and an Irmo police officer is being praised for his attempts to save the man after an apartment fire on Chipwood Court at the Irmo Village Apartments Saturday night. According to a statement from Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, the fire was first reported around 7:30 p.m.


According to the Irmo Police Department, Senior Corporal Christopher Kaderly responded and arrived on the scene within moments of the call coming in. When he learned that someone might be trapped in the burning apartment, he crawled inside under the heat and smoke, located the body of 45-year-old James Earl Wright II, and dragged him from the structure. Unfortunately, Wright had already died.


When the Irmo Fire District arrived on the scene, they were quickly able to contain the fire holding it to just the one-unit Wright was in.

Irmo Fire Chief Bobby Dale said in a statement after the fire, “Last night, we were reminded that police officers are relied upon to do so much in the community. Senior Corporal Christopher Kaderly showed just that when he quickly responded to an apartment fire in the Irmo Village Apartments. Learning that there was an occupant of the burning apartment, S/CPL. Kaderly made entry without hesitation. S/CPL. Kaderly was able to drag the victim from the burning apartment. Although the victim was likely already deceased, S/CPL. Kaderly showed courage by entering a burning building in an attempt to save an individual’s life at great risk to his own. I am proud of him, and his bravery was truly impressive during the incident.”


S/CPL. Kaderly was transported to Prisma Health’s Parkridge Hospital after the fire where he was treated for minor injuries before being released later Saturday night.


Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher has said that Wright will be transported to MUSC in Charleston for an autopsy Thursday to determine his exact cause of death,


This fire is being investigated by the Irmo Police Department, the Irmo Fire District, and Coroner Fisher’s office.  

PHOTO: Senior Corporal Christopher Kaderly


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