WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The SBI ruled the cause of a fatal fire in Washington as being undetermined. An elderly woman died and two deputies were taken to the hospital after rescue attempts.
An elderly woman died on Monday and two deputies were taken to the hospital after rescue attempts.
The SBI said agents were unable to determine the cause because of the amount of damage. They believe it started in the kitchen but could not examine the appliances because of the damage.
72-year-old Patricia Jordan was inside the home during the time of the fire. Deputies did all they could to get to her, but there was just too much smoke.
“I’m just numb. It’s just so awful,” added Barbara Coston, Jordan’s cousin.
Family members are now grieving a loved one.
Despite an effort by two sheriff’s deputies, Jordan died as a result of a fire at her home off Highway 32 in Washington.
Coston lives right across the street. She saw the flames coming from her cousin’s house early Monday morning.
Crews don’t know what caused the fire; they think it started in the kitchen. Bunyan fire chief David Lewis says the home is more-than-likely a total loss.
“It’s heavily burned on the inside, there’s extensive damage, partial roof collapse,” said David Lewis.
Coston and other family members said Jordan loved everybody and everybody loved her. They said she was also very fond of cats.
“She always loved cats, they were just her whole life. She never had any children, so her cats were her children,” explained Coston.
Family members said Jordan had dozens of cats, but none of them died in the blaze. Animal control was called out to pick them up. Representatives from the office say it could take days to collect them all.
As for Coston and the rest of the family, they’ll try to move on as best they can.
“You try to look to the future and have your memories, but it’s so sad so devastating,” said Coston.
The SBI is assisting the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.Previous Story
An early morning fire left one person dead and sent two deputies to the hospital.
Beaufort County Sheriff, Ernie Coleman said he was alerted to the fire around four o’clock Monday morning. He said two deputies with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office heard the call and responded to a home on the 11000 block of NC-32 near Terrapin Track Road in Washington.
When deputies arrived, they learned two people were inside the home. Deputies were able to pull one person from the building, but the fire kept them from saving the homeowner. She’s since been identified as Patricia Jordan.
Sheriff Coleman said the two responding deputies suffered smoke inhalation and were taken to a local hospital for treatment. He said one of the deputies may have suffered a singed lung during the incident. However, both deputies have since been released from the hospital.
A chaplain with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office will be on hand for the next couple of days to debrief first responders.
Animal Control also responded to the scene and found dozens of cats inside. They’ll be placed up for adoption.