A St. Helena man was in connection with a fire that
destroyed a home Monday afternoon on Legree Road.
Willie Antonio Aiken, 32, was arrested Monday night on one
count of arson. Aiken is believed to have set a fire that destroyed the home of
his ex-girlfriend, 39-year-old Aldrena McKinnon, according to the Beaufort
County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies responded to the fire at just after 4:30 p.m.
Monday. It was fully engulfed in flames. No one was inside the home at the time
the fire broke out and no one was injured.
A child living at the home had been visiting a family member
across the street and went home to get something and found Aiken inside. Aiken told
the child to leave, which she did, according to the BCSO. She told deputies
that she returned a few minutes later and noticed Aiken pouring an unknown
liquid onto the floor of the laundry room, saw Aiken striking matches and
throwing them into the liquid. She then immediately
left the home.
Witnesses reported seeing Aiken leave in a green Chevrolet
Suburban, taking a rarely used pathway, and moments later smoke was seen
pouring from the home. Deputies contacted Aiken at a family member's home on
Clarence Mitchell Road. Aiken was interviewed and eventually placed under
The BCSO is also investigating a vehicle fire that occurred Monday
evening that is believed to be tied to the house fire, according to the sheriff's
office. At about 3 p.m. Monday, Aiken reported his 2013 Buick Century missing
and he thought McKinnon's 15-year-old son took the car without his permission,
according to the sheriff's office.
The car was found fully engulfed in flames just after 5 p.m.
Monday in the parking lot of the Gloria Potts Community Center at 130 Seaside
Rd. The car is a total loss.
Anyone with information about the fires can contact
Investigator Cpl. B. Disbrow at 843.255.3407 or Crimestoppers.
To report crime, citizens can call Crimestoppers at 888.CRIME.SC
(274-6372) or text the word TIPSC with a message to CRIMES (274637).