Hilton Head home damaged by fire

rlurye@islandpacket.comJune 10, 2014 

A Hilton Head Island home that is for sale was severely damaged by fire Tuesday afternoon, according to the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division.

Firefighters were called to 2 Planters Row in Port Royal Plantation about 2:10 p.m., after a driver noticed flames coming from the second-story roof, Fire Marshal Joheida Fister said.

After about an hour, a ladder hose and lines trained on the fire and back of the home had diminished the fire, but it continued to burn for another half hour. It appeared the flames started in the attic area above the master bedroom closet and spread throughout the second floor, Fister said. The home was vacant, Fister said. Homeowner Joe Salemi last visited the property in May and had the home on the market, real estate agent Steve Hyslop said.

Salemi splits his time between Ohio and Hilton Head, Hyslop said. He purchased the Hilton Head Island home in 2006 for $1.15 million through his development company, Northfield Center Development, according to Beaufort County property records.

Salemi also designed and owns the Boulder Creek Golf Club in Streetsboro, Ohio, according to the club's website.

"Look at all that water," Hyslop said Tuesday, as crews redirected a ladder to reach flames coming from the right side of the roof. "That right there is the damage. It destroys the inside of a house."

As smoke spread throughout Planters Row, about a dozen neighbors gathered across the street from the fire, some of them wearing bathing suits.

The home was worth about $600,000 in 2013, according to property records.

An estimate of damages and the cause of the fire were not available from Fister. She said an investigation continues.

Hyslop said he went to the home as soon as he heard from Salemi, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

"I just can't believe this," Hyslop said. "I've never seen this before."

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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