BCSO Investigates Fatal Fire in Shell Point - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

BCSO Investigates Fatal Fire in Shell Point

BCSO Investigates Fatal Fire in Shell Point

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UPDATE: Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen says Juliann Thomas, 41, of Beaufort County, was pronounced dead at Beaufort Memorial on Sunday. She was transported from her Shell Point home by EMS, after firefighters found her unresponsive and her house filled with smoke. Thomas was a Beaufort County 911 dispatcher. An autopsy will be done tomorrow at MUSC in Charleston.


UPDATE: We're learning more on an early morning fire that took the life of a woman in the Shell Point area just outside of Beaufort. Flames broke out on Cypress Street after 5:00 a.m. Neighbors say the usually quiet street was packed with fire trucks and ambulance soon after. 

One woman was found inside the home which was full of smoke when firefighters got in, and she was pronounced dead at Beaufort Memorial. Now, investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and SLED continue to look into the fire's cause. 

"You never think this is going to happen in your neighborhood," Amy Heierman says. 

Heierman's street was full of emergency vehicles when she looked out of her window Sunday morning. She calls the scene 'crazy' like something out of a dream. "I didn't know what was going on. It was kind of scary," Heierman says. 

Although she learned few details about her neighbor's house that caught fire, she did learn that the woman didn't make it out alive. 

"We were dispatched to the fire at 5:16 this morning. Our first pumper arrived at 5:19, about three minutes, with smoke showing from the structure," Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree says. "They forced entry, searched the structure, found one victim and pulled that victim to the front, turned that victim over to Beaufort County EMS." 

Back inside, crews found three pets died too. Now, SLED and the sheriff's office continues investigation. The coroner is still conducting an autopsy, and cannot reveal a name yet, but neighbors say they send thoughts and prayers to the family. 

"They were very, very nice people," Heierman says. 


The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office remains on the scene of an early morning house fire in the Shell Point area outside of Beaufort. According to Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree, fire crews were called to 1006 Cypress Street around 5:00 a.m. on Sunday. 

When crews arrived at the home, it was full of smoke inside. One person was transported by EMS. Chief Rountree says the one person and three pets are deceased, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. The investigation was turned over to the sheriff's office and to SLED. Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen says no information can be released at this time. 

News Three will follow the story and will provide updates as they are available.  

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