Couple dies in their South Carolina home with a broken heater at 1,000 degrees

An elderly couple in South Carolina both unexpectedly died in their home — each with a temperature over 106°F. And when authorities, who discovered the bodies during a welfare check over the weekend, noticed the house feeling "extremely hot," they checked the water heater in the basement and found it to be at a shocking 1,000°F.

Just a week earlier, last Wednesday, the house was too cold, according to family members (via Yahoo News) who had called in for the welfare check. So the couple's relatives began "fiddling" with the heater and water heater, both which had been out, until they got it to work again. They left soon after the heat started running, and then became concerned when, after a few days, they hadn't heard from the older couple.

"We … are concerned with why the temperature was so high," said the Spartanburg county coroner, Rusty Clevenger. "We followed through with forensic exams this morning that will require more testing. CO2 is one test as it was mentioned in the police report. We will continue to investigate."

From Yahoo!:

Upon entering the bedroom, police discovered the dead couple. The man was found lying on the bed unclothed and facing upwards while the woman was at the side of the bed, clothed and slouched in a chair. Authorities did not observe signs of struggle, foul play or carbon monoxide poisoning. They added that fire officials measured the carbon dioxide levels in the house which were "not at a concerning level".

Medics measured the couple's bodies with a device that only registered temperatures up to 106F, according to the police report. Both victims' temperatures exceeded 106F. The report added that fire officials measured the house's interior temperature and found it to exceed 120F, despite the house being open for 20 minutes to the cold weather.

Authorities also checked the basement where the heater and hot water heater were located and discovered that the "heater was so hot it looked as if the basement was currently on fire", according to one firefighter. After deactivating the heater, authorities measured its temperature and found it to be "over 1,000 degrees", the police report said. …

The couple has been identified by the Spartanburg county coroner's office as 84-year old Joan Littlejohn and 82-year old Glennwood Fowler.