SPARTANBURG, SC – A deadly discovery was made in Spartanburg, South Carolina. An elderly couple was found deceased in their home, reportedly reaching a staggering temperature of around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Police were alerted to the situation on Saturday after family members had been unable to contact Joan Littlejohn, 84, and Glennwood Fowler, 82, for three days. Officers and paramedics entered the residence through an unlocked window, finding the couple dead in their bedroom.
Efforts to record the victims’ body temperatures were thwarted due to the heat, with the measuring device maxing out at 106 degrees Fahrenheit. This marker was well beyond the point at which individuals should seek emergency medical assistance.
Despite having opened the doors to the winter outdoor air for around 20 minutes, firefighters on the scene assessed the home’s temperature to still be around 120 degrees. Carbon dioxide levels within the property were checked and found to be relatively normal.
Family members informed police that the couple had experienced difficulties with their furnace and water heater only days prior. Relatives had attended to assist and successfully reignited the furnace’s pilot light. This marked the last occasion the couple were seen alive.
At the site, firefighters noted that the basement furnace appeared to be ablaze before they intervened, deactivating it. Its internal temperature reportedly reached up to 1,000 degrees. When the first officer departed the scene about two and a half hours later, the home’s thermostat had resumed function and displayed a reading of 96 degrees.
Details of the cause of death await determination, with an autopsy and additional testing in progress, stated Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger.