Fire victim describes blaze which nearly destroyed her home


If you aren’t careful in a matter of minutes, even seconds, your home could go up in flames.
that’s the reality one Lowcountry woman is now facing after a fire last month. Now she’s sharing her experience in the hope that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“The smoke was already choking me. and the flame was going up the wall,” explains Vera Greene.

That’s what Vera Greene saw when she got off the phone and walked out of her bedroom into her kitchen February 8.

“Flame was coming out of my wall,” remembers Vera. “I took a coffee cup and filled it up with water and throw it  on it, but I couldn’t do it.”

The kitchen on fire she had no choice but to get out and wait for Burton firefighters to arrive.

“It was really terrifying to see my mobile home on fire,” says Vera.

Burton firefighter Bayse Hibbett was the first firefighter inside.

“The flames were about to right here (pointing to four feet up the wall). This whole area was blackened and the smoke was about to right here through the whole house.”

Hibbett took a professional fire extinguisher to the blaze. Putting it out, while saving as much as he could.

The smoke and fire had done its damage already, blackening almost everything inside this mobile home.

“2-3 minutes and this whole kitchen could be fully involved,” said Hibbett.
“And thus the whole trailer.”
“Yes, sir.”

Greene isn’t complaining. This breast cancer survivor is thankful firefighters saved her two dogs, and that her home can be repaired.

“I just thank god I’m alive, my dogs are ok and its material things I can put back together,” smiles Vera

Vera learned a lesson about fire and fire safety that day.

Thanks to Burton Fire, there’s a new fire extinguisher in her kitchen. Equipment which came with a brief lesson.

“Squeeze and sweep back and forth.” Captain Daniel Byrne shows and tells Vera about her new fire extinguisher.

New smoke detectors will stay on her walls. Burton fire replacing her old ones, so she will sleep a little safer.

“I just disconnected them (the smoke alarms) saying I would get battery ones but I procrastinated on it. I procrastinated on a lot of stuff I will not procrastinate again on.”
“How important would you say they are now?”
Firefighters say Greene did the right thing initially by trying to put out that fire. As soon as you don’t feel comfortable or feel like you are in danger, don’t stay. Get to safety and call 911 so the professionals can do the work.

Ms. Green did not have homeowners insurance. She has gotten a few donations for supplies to rebuild, and Burton fire is helping her get on her feet.
If you would like to help Vera, you can contact the department SAFETYED@BURTONFD.ORG

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