Beaufort Today -

Beaufort FD responds to Sunday fire on McTeer Circle

Subheadline: 
Smoke alarm saves elderly residents

 Firefighters from the city of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department battled a living room fire Sunday at a home on McTeer Circle. responded to 1007 McTeer Circle, in Beaufort, due to a report of a working
The home was occupied at the time of the fire and residents were alerted to the fire by working smoke alarms.
“Smoke alarms save lives. This is not just some catchy slogan. They work, and they save lives everyday” said Fire Chief Reece Bertholf.
In the last 11 months, in a partnership with the American Red Cross, firefighters with Beaufort andPort Royal have surveyed hundreds of homes door to door and have installed nearly 1100 smoke detectors. “This particular residence had supplied their own, working smoke detectors but we find many, many homes, in our community needing smoke detectors that utilize our free program” according to Battalion Chief Scott Robinson.
In this instance, the elderly residents had a care giver in the home 24 hours a day. The care giver was able to evacuate both residents. Unfortunately, one of the residents chose to re-enter the
home. At this time fire crews arrived and Lt. Vezin, the first arriving officer, employed his training and conducted his 360 degree walkaround of the incident. Lt. Vezin found an open rear
door and could see the resident inside the home with the fire in the background. The resident was disoriented and unaware of the situation. Lt. Vezin quickly recognized the danger to the resident and entered the home to assist the resident to safety.
“It was a close call” said Vezin, “I didn’t even think about it. It was clear the resident was confused and disorientated and I was able to quickly go in, grab ahold of him, and get him to safety.”
The resident who had gone back into the home was treated on scene by Beaufort County EMS for smoke inhalation and transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital as a precaution for evaluation. The other resident and caregiver escaped the incident without injury.
“Please, I cannot stress this enough, once you have safely escaped a house fire, do not attempt to go back in. Life is fragile and the toxins, heat, smoke and flames associated with a house fire pose a grave threat to your health and life” said Bertholf. “The chemical compounds found in a fire environment are some of the worst of the worst and scientists have proven that they are detrimental to long term health if they don’t kill you immediately. We are not talking about sitting around the campfire here, we are talking about burning carpet, plastics, and home finishing’s that release thick toxic smoke.”
Once the residence was completely evacuated firefighters on Vezin’s crew were quickly able to extinguish the fire in the living room with a hoseline from their firetruck. The home suffered smoke damage throughout but damage do to the fire was confined to a small area in the living room.
“Everything came together like it should” said Battalion Chief Robinson, “The smoke alarms activated, the caregiver evacuated the residents and called 911, the units were dispatched and arrived quickly from the station just up the street, the arriving officer and firefighters employed their training and equipment with skill. Ultimately, everyone survived and the home sustained only minimal damage. I am proud of these firefighters, they know their job well and performed it flawlessly tonight.”
Contact the City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal fire department at 843-525-7055, or your local fire department, if you need help with smoke detectors.
The City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department was aided in response to this incident by the Burton Fire District, Beaufort County EMS, and the Beaufort Police Department.

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