With smoke filling his beach-house room and flames leaping from the building, University of South Carolina student Tripp Wylie took the only option he had: a leap past a concrete bank and into a canal.
Wylie is alive to tell the story today about how he survived the beach house inferno by leaping from a third-story window. He tells ABC's Good Morning America it was "a very lucky jump." Seven of his friends weren't as lucky.
Six of the dead attended the University of South Carolina. A seventh went to Clemson.
Wylie says he woke to the sound of crackling and popping, and as it became harder to breathe he knew he had to take the only choice left to him.
Officials say the investigation continues.