Fires claim life of Burton man, critically injure another

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By MINDY LUCAS

A New Year’s Day camper fire has claimed the life of a Burton man, officials say.

Donald Lawson, 61, of Burton, died after a fire broke out in his camper, Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said.

Firefighters with the Burton Fire District responded to the blaze at the site on Savannah Highway near Barnyard Road just before 9 a.m. on Jan. 1, according to Captain Dan Byrne with the fire district.

Firefighters arriving on the scene found Lawson’s camper fully engulfed but were able to quickly extinguish the fire, Byrne said. Lawson’s body was found in the debris after the fire was extinguished.

The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office and SLED are investigating.

The fire follows another critical incident on New Year’s Eve in which a Seabrook man was badly injured.

That fire broke out just before 5:30 p.m. at a home on Seabrook Bluff Road, Byrne said.

Fire crews from Burton, Sheldon and Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort fought to bring the fire under control.

The man suffered critical injuries and had to be taken to an area hospital and was later flown to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta.

The fire was confined to the kitchen area and is believed to have been caused by cooking, Byrne said.