This story was updated Feb. 28, 2017, to correct the location of the house fire.
A 56-year-old Burton woman is dead following a Wednesday morning house fire on Falls Road that authorities are calling “suspicious.”
Teresa Seigler was identified as the victim Wednesday afternoon, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release. She was removed from the home shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday and transported to Beaufort Memorial Hospital by EMS, but she died a short time later, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
A forensic autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon by the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office at the Medical University of South Carolina, Coroner Ed Allen said.
When Burton Fire District firefighters arrived at the single-story home, there were flames near the front door, lapping at the exterior siding above the door frame, district spokesman Dan Byrne said at the scene. A next-door neighbor told emergency responders that a woman lived in the home.
Firefighters used a technique known as V.E.S. or “vent, enter, search” to find the woman. Instead of fighting through the flames at the front door, firefighters broke a window and entered the bedroom, Byrne said. They found Seigler in the bedroom, which was free of flames but filled with smoke. They shut the bedroom door to help keep the flames out and carried her through the window. She was then transported to the hospital, where she died.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the news release. The Sheriff’s Office has asked arson investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division help with the investigation. More information on why the fire was deemed suspicious should be available after the investigation, said spokesman Capt. Bob Bromage. The only information currently available is that there were “indicators at the scene to suggest it was suspicious,” he said.
Burton firefighters were assisted by the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Office, Byrne said. By the afternoon, some emergency responders remained on scene, waiting for SLED investigators to arrive. A portion of Falls Street was still blocked off around 2:30 p.m.