Third family displaced in string of ‘devastating’ house fires in Burton area

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A third family has been displaced in less than two weeks in what officials are calling a string of devastating house fires in the Burton area.

“Why this is so devastating is you have three fires that have left three families displaced, two probably permanently, two involving four children each, and all three involving injuries,” said Captain Dan Byrne with the Burton Fire District.

In the latest incident, firefighters with the district and MCAS Beaufort Fire Department responded to an early morning fire on Shanklin Road on Sunday, Sept. 29.

Arriving on the scene just after 6 a.m., firefighters found smoke and flames coming from a single story home. A man trapped in the home was rescued from a front window of the house by deputies with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Department who had arrived just before.

A second man living at the residence is believed to have been out of the home at the time of the incident, Byrne said. Firefighters entered the home while it was still on fire to search for any other victims but found none. One of the men was taken the hospital with medical issues.

Fire crews quickly gained control of the blaze, which took over an hour to fully extinguish, due to some challenges, Byrne said. The fire had burned through the roof and spread to its insulation. In addition, the home’s power line had broken away causing electricity to charge and preventing firefighters from accessing certain areas.

Residents said the home had no working smoke alarms and it was neighbors who alerted them to the fire.

An electrical issue is thought to have caused the fire, Byrne said.

Beaufort County EMS also responded to the scene.

The other two fires were caused by unattended cooking. The first fire, which occurred on Sept. 18 on Laurel Street East, displaced a family of seven and left a woman with serious burns.

A second fire, on Garret Smalls Road, in Seabrook, occurred on Sept. 22, and left a family of five displaced. A mother in that fire sustained minor injuries and burns from trying to get her children out of the home.

With Fire Prevention Week coming up, Oct. 6-12, and these recent fires, it is more important than ever to stress fire safety, Byrne said.

“The three things we’re really stressing are smoke alarms, fire extinguishers mounted in the kitchen, or where you were see them the most, and making sure to sleep with bedroom doors closed,” he said.

According to the “Close Before Your Doze” campaign close bedroom doors which can isolate a fire’s flow and keep carbon monoxide levels down can greatly increase a person’s chances of surviving a fire.

Those who wish to help the three families displaced by the fires can email the Burton Fire District at, Byrne added.


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