Firefighter injured, 9 pets killed in fire

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The Burton Fire District, MCAS Fire Department, and Beaufort County EMS responded the morning of March 19 to a house fire on Oak Bluff Court in Burton in which a firefighter was injured and nine animals perished. 

At approximately 8:45 a.m., Burton and MCAS Firefighters, along with Beaufort County EMS, responded to a report of a house fire. Initial reports were of smoke coming from the home and possible dogs inside. Firefighters arrived to find 50 percent of the mobile home engulfed in flames. 

Firefighters entered the home to fight the blaze and rescue the animals. The fire was quickly brought under control. Firefighters rescued two dogs and attempted to revive them but were unsuccessful. In all, five dogs, two cats, and two hedgehogs perished in the fire. 

One firefighter suffered minor injuries when he fell through the floor of the mobile home while fighting the blaze and was transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital. 

The fire was caused by a heating lamp being placed too close to combustibles. Fire officials remind citizens of the safety rule, “If it has heat, then three feet,” meaning any device that generates heat, to include lamps and candles, should be a minimum of three feet from any combustibles. 

Burton fire officials are using this incident to illustrate the dangers of fires and mobile homes. According to officials, the fire went from just smoke to engulfing 50 percent of the home within the four minutes from receiving the 911 call to arriving on scene. 

“Residents living in mobile homes need to have working smoke alarms that have a battery and are less than 10 years old and close all doors before leaving your home or going to bed,” said Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree. “A closed door will keep you protected from the fast-growing fire or keep the fire contained, which will allow you time to escape and for us to arrive and save some belongings.” 

Residents needing a smoke alarm can email safetyed@burtonfd.org.

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