Fire ravages St. Helena beach house

ST. HELENA ISLAND -- No injuries were reported in an early-morning fire that burned a beach house Tuesday at Lands End on St. Helena Island.

Firefighters were called to the house on Bay Point Road and found flames shooting more than 25 feet above the roof, according to a news release from the Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District.

For 40 minutes, firefighters battled to contain the blaze as winds coming off the water helped fuel the flames, according to the fire district.

"The sea breeze definitely kicked in and made our jobs extremely difficult," said fire district spokesman Lee Levesque.

Firefighters were concerned the fire might spread to a neighboring home.

"That house was probably 10 feet away, so we had two separate hose lines going at once," Levesque said. "We had one fighting the fire from inside and outside of the beach house, and then we had another one keeping that other home doused with water. We were checking for any signs of heat stress, like melting siding or anything like that. We can say that there isn't any noticeable damage to that home."

The beach home's only occupant at the time of the fire escaped unharmed, Levesque said.

More than 35 people responded to the fire, including personnel from Beaufort County EMS, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and SCE&G.

The fire is under investigation.