Firefighter questioned, then cleared in fatal Columbia blaze

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a Columbia firefighter questioned by police after a fatal arson has been cleared of having any connection with setting the blaze.

Columbia police told media outlets that the firefighter spoke to investigators at length over two days, answering all of their questions about the suspicious Jan. 29 fire that killed 80-year-old Dent Henderson in her home.

Police released a surveillance image of the firefighter before learning his identity, but never said where the picture was taken or why they thought he might be connected to the blaze. His name was never released.

The city of Columbia suspended the firefighter when police began questioning him, but reinstated him after he was cleared by police.

Authorities say the investigation into the fatal fire continues.

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