Burton fire officials have been dealing with “a string of holiday tragedies” that started with the Thanksgiving eve fatality of a 21-year-old motorcyclist on Laurel Bay Road and continued with a Christmas morning house fire in the Pine Oaks Mobile Home Park.
The Burton Fire District was dispatched to a house fire in the Pine Oaks Mobile Home Park on Joe Frazier Road just past 10 a.m. on Christmas.
They arrived and saw heavy smoke coming from a mobile home. Fire broke out through a rear bedroom window as fire crews began to attack the flames.
Firefighters extinguished the fire in under 15 minutes, however the fire had entered into the roof area, making the operation difficult. Firefighters were on scene for over three hours extinguishing smoldering embers.
The homeowner, a U.S. Navy veteran, was not home at the time of the blaze.
The fire was discovered by a family member who came to the home to pick up presents and saw the smoke coming from the door.
The fire was confined to one side of the home but the residence suffered heavy heat and smoke damage throughout.
No injuries were reported. The fire is still under investigation but believed to be unintentional. MCAS Beaufort Fire & Rescue also responded to the scene and assisted.
The Burton Fire District has responded to over 262 emergency calls since Nov. 23, involving traffic fatalities and three house fires, with one house fire resulting in the death of the female resident.
“We do our best, but we don’t always get the results we hope for,” said Burton Fire Lt. John Ireland, who responded to the fire while off duty. “While every emergency is tragic, I think during the holidays it’s even more so, so firefighters push harder, and that makes it even tougher. Our thoughts are with all of these families today.”