Open doors fueled a kitchen fire that quickly grew out of control in a Port Royal apartment Monday night, injuring a resident, the Beaufort Fire Department revealed Wednesday.
The fire at Stuart Towne Apartments started when the oil a resident was using to fry food caught fire, a news release said. Open doors fanned the flames, which quickly spread to the living areas.
The open front and rear doors also pumped flames into attic spaces, the release said.
â€œHaving the doors opened really made this fire grow quickly and it was a hot fire," Negron said. "The nearby apartments and their residents were in great danger if this fire had gotten out of control."
When firefighters arrived not long after the 6:37 p.m. alarm, flames were climbing out of the apartment windows and the front door, Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said.
A resident suffered burns to his hand, forearm and foot when he tried to carry the hot pan and oil outside the apartment, Negron said. Beaufort County EMS treated the man for minor burns.
The fire consumed most of the furnishings in the living room, kitchen and dining room, according to Capt. John Robinson of the Beaufort Fire Department. The doors to both bedrooms were closed, leaving their contents â€" including a small kitten -- unharmed.
"This was a very dangerous situation that could have been even more tragic in this apartment complex," Negron said. "Residents quickly reported the fire and we had firefighters on the scene within minutes, working hard to extinguish the flames."
Firefighters remained on the scene until about 10 p.m. and limited fire and smoke damage to one unit. An adjacent apartment suffered minor water damage.
23 firefighters were called to the apartment complex near Ribaut Road. Four fire engines and three squads fought the fire with support from the Burton Fire District.