A Mossy Oaks woman suffered smoke inhalation Thursday when she tried to rescue her three pets from her burning kitchen. The fire heavily damaged her Battery Creek Road home, Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said in a news release.
Investigators said the home's stove likely caused the fire.
At about 3 p.m., the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department, assisted by crews from the Burton Fire District and Beaufort County EMS, responded to a house fire on the 600 block of Battery Creek Road in Beaufort. Firefighters found heavy smoke and flames shooting from the kitchen of the single-story home. Beaufort-Port Royal firefighters' response prevented the fire from spreading to other areas of the home, according to the release.
A resident of the home who was trying to save her cats was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital after showing signs of smoke inhalation. Three pets died in the fire, despite attempts by responders to revive them, the release said.
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The resident was released from the hospital later Thursday after a few hours of observation, according to fire officials.
Fire investigators ruled the fire accidental and said it was probably caused by an unattended stovetop range.
The Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the residents.
Residents should always check to be sure all stovetop ranges and other appliances are properly turned off, Negron said. He also warned against re-entering a structure that's on fire: Nationally, 43 percent of people injured but not killed in home fires were trying to fight the fire or rescue a person or pet, Negron said.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment is the leading cause of home fires and related injuries and is the third-leading cause of home fire deaths in the United States.