North Charleston releases names of 3 injured firefighters
Trevor McNeil saw fire spreading through a house around the corner from his Monday afternoon. He ran inside to tell his mother, and soon a crowd had assembled in the street to watch. Trevor, 12, said he remembers seeing the roof collapsing, a nearby house's siding melting and, later, a firefighter being carried out on a stretcher.
In all, three North Charleston firefighters were taken to the Medical University of South Carolina after they were burned while fighting the house fire in the Hollow Oaks
The most seriously injured firefighter was transferred by ambulance to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Ga., while the other two were treated and released Monday, said Bianca Sancic, public information officer with the North Charleston Fire Department. Sancic said the resident of the house who was home at the time of the fire had no injuries.
Through Sancic, the fire department refused to release any information about the three firefighters who were injured, including their identities, and Sancic said any explanation of how the three were injured would have to wait until an investigation could take place.
"Of course, we are going to review what occurred," she said.
The injured firefighter sent to the burn center in Georgia "did suffer some burns, and required further treatment, but they are not life-threatening," Sancic said.
Sancic said the fire department received the first of several calls about the fire at 1:42 p.m. Firefighters arrived at the house on Purity Court, near the Kmart on Rivers Ave., at 1:49 p.m. and had the fire under control at 2:54 p.m.
The back half of the house's shingled roof was missing Monday afternoon, exposing a skeletal frame as firefighters investigated the cause of the blaze. The vinyl siding on a neighboring house was rippled with what Sancic said was thermal damage from the fire.
Once the fire was under control, North Charleston Fire Department kept the street near the site of the fire blocked off as an investigative team circled the house, identified the least damaged section and moved toward the most damaged. The idea, said Sancic, is to follow the chronological progression of the fire in reverse, identifying the area and then the point of origin.
Sancic said the American Red Cross gave the house's resident food vouchers and housing for three days, "just long enough to get your head on straight."
"You're not able at that point to process what this is that happened," Sancic said. "People talk about before [Hurricane] Hugo, after Hugo. It's the same with this: People talk about before a fire and after a fire."
Trevor's mother, Zaviera Megget, 37, whose house is near a cul-de-sac with a clear view of the damage, said she didn't know the house's residents, but she said people from the neighborhood ought to pitch in to help.
"We may not know each other by name, but we know each other by faces," Megget said. "I know we can come together and get something done for them."
Staff writer Andy Paras contributed to this report.