Family escapes, dog dies after Beaufort home fire

astice@islandpacket.comDecember 31, 2012 

A photo of the home at 814 Newcastle St. in Beaufort not long after it was damaged by fire. The family of 10 living in the home escaped unharmed, but their dog died in the blaze.

ALLISON STICE — Staff photo

A family escaped, but their small dog died after a fire broke out in the attic of their Beaufort home on Newcastle Street early Sunday morning, according to the Beaufort Fire Department.

Firefighters arrived at 3:50 a.m. to 814 Newcastle St. as strong winds stoked the flames that had burst through the roof.

Four people in the home at the time of the fire escaped without injuries. A total of 10 people -- three adults and seven children -- were living in the home, according to the Lowcountry chapter of the American Red Cross.

Both the Burton and Beaufort fire departments contained the blaze before it could leap to a neighboring house just 15 feet away, according to a news release.

The fire damaged about half of the home's attic and roof, but smoke damage extended throughout the home. The family's small dog died of smoke inhalation, the release said.

Investigators believe the fire started when a tree limb fell across power lines to the home, knocking out power. The homeowner tried to reset the breaker and later saw smoke coming from the wall behind the electrical panel, said Beaufort Deputy Fire Chief Clay Scoggins.

Red Cross spokeswoman Christina Monserrate said volunteers provided the family with three nights of housing in a local hotel, as well as money to replace clothing and shoes lost in the blaze.

Monserrate said contact information for the family was not available Sunday.

Follow reporter Allison Stice at

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