Beaufort News

Lady’s Island man after Friday morning fire: ‘I have nothing’

A Lady’s Island man lost everything he owned when his home was destroyed by fire Friday morning.

Johnnie Jenkins, 72, saw smoke coming from a middle room and the walls of his mobile home on a large lot on Youmans Drive about 9:30 a.m. Friday. He crossed the street to his sister’s house and called emergency responders.

The fire destroyed the structure. At about 10:30 a.m., Lady’s Island-St. Helena firefighters were tearing through the walls to extinguish hot spots.

“Everything I had was in that house,” Jenkins said.

Firefighters remained on scene after the flames were extinguished to snuff out possible trouble areas. Lady’s Island St.-Helena Fire Chief Bruce Kline walked through the shell of the home.

A team of Beaufort County fire investigators will work to determine the cause.

Jenkins leaned against the blue wall of his sister’s home and accepted a cigarette from a neighbor as firefighters worked across the street. He said he had lived in the home about a year and is from New York.

A brand-new heater was plugged in but in a different room from where Jenkins first saw smoke, he said. He lost everything but what he was wearing — a blue hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and sandals strapped over his socks.

Firefighters confirmed Jenkins had a place to stay — with his sister — and connected him with American Red Cross volunteers for clothing and other essential items.

“I need clothes, I need shoes, I need jackets,” Jenkins said. “... I have nothing.”

Stephen Fastenau: 843-706-8182, @IPBG_Stephen