Deadly house fire

Lt. Keith Brewer with the Carteret County Sheriff's Office documents the damage to a home at 149 Courtney Lane Saturday in Beaufort. (Dylan Ray photo)

Updated 10:59 a.m. Wednesday, March 6

BEAUFORT — Carteret County Fire Marshal Eddie Lewis confirmed Monday that the victim of a deadly accidental house fire Saturday morning off Courtney Lane was 15-year-old Masson Caras, a student at East Carteret High School.

Carteret County Schools officials were quick to respond Monday morning after the victim’s identity was released.

“The passing of East Carteret High School student Masson Caras was tragic, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends and the teachers and support staff at the school,” Superintendent Matt Bottoms said in a press release.

“Principal Katherine Steele, school counselors and the regional response team members spent time Saturday and Sunday contacting students and employees, and putting a strong support system in place for those wanting to talk or share thoughts,” he continued.

Ms. Steele said in an email Tuesday that the school held a moment of silence Monday in memory of the late student.

“The Mariner family at ECHS is saddened at the news of Masson’s passing,” she said. “Events like this shake us all to our core, and in times of sadness and grief we reach out to our family and friends for support.”

Ms. Steele said counselors have been at the school for students and staff to talk to.

“Our deepest condolences go to Masson’s family and friends in this sad time,” Ms. Steele said. “If you want to support the family please consider donating on their Go Fund Me page – they have lost so much this weekend.”

Mr. Lewis also expressed sympathy to the family, who also lost their home and all of their belongings, as well as two pets, a dog and a cat. Masson’s parents were at work when the fire started early Saturday.

“Our hearts go out to them,” Mr. Lewis said. “The thing we train for in fire service, the thing we try hardest to do, is save lives. We try to give anyone (we find) in a fire a chance (to survive).

“The firefighters entered the house immediately after they arrived. They got there very quickly and began lifesaving efforts. We got him in an ambulance with personnel, and they continued those efforts.

“I rode with him to the hospital,” Mr. Lewis continued. “Once we arrived there, hospital personnel tried for an hour and 15 minutes to revive him, but unfortunately they ultimately were unsuccessful.

“Again, our hearts go out to the family. We all did all we could. We save some, but unfortunately there are some cases we can’t. It’s tragic.”

The fire has been ruled accidental, and Mr. Lewis said “all the evidence points to” the cause of death as an accidental fire death caused by smoke inhalation.

Saturday, Beaufort Fire Department Chief Larry Fulp said the call to his department came in at 8:26 a.m.

Beaufort Emergency Medical Services personnel also responded, and transported the victim to Carteret Health Care.

The Morehead City, Otway, Harkers Island and North River fire departments also responded to the call. Morehead City Fire Department personnel manned the Beaufort fire station while firefighters were at the scene.

Chief Fulp said firefighters quickly knocked out the blaze, and there was never any danger of it spreading, as the only nearby structure in the largely rural area off Taylor Farm Road, near Highway 101, was an outbuilding on the same property.

Mr. Lewis said Monday that his investigation over the weekend revealed the fire broke out in a utility room of the double-wide mobile home. Masson was found in a bedroom.

Mr. Lewis said a neighbor, David Parker, was the first to see the fire, while walking his dog.

“He saw the smoke, went over there, looked in, then had his wife call 911 and went back,” Mr. Lewis said. “When he got back to the (double-wide), he took a shovel and broke out the living room window.”

Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter, within 10 minutes of the call, broke in through the door and found the victim.

There are many toxic chemicals in smoke from a house fire, Mr. Lewis said, almost all of which can be deadly, some more quickly than others.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family at gofundme.com/Caras-family-house-fire-loss-of-youngest-son-Mason.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.

 

(Previous report)

Updated 4:20 p.m. Sunday, March 3

BEAUFORT — A house fire Saturday morning off Courtney Lane left one person dead, according to authorities.

Beaufort Fire Chief Larry Fulp said the male victim was the sole occupant of a double-wide mobile home at 149 Courtney Lane.

Officials have not released the name of the victim, and the cause of the fire that destroyed the structure is still under investigation by Carteret County Fire Marshal Eddie Lewis, Chief Fulp said Saturday afternoon.

The chief said the department got the call at 8:26 a.m., and when units arrived on the scene, the double-wide was fully engaged.

“We went in immediately and began a search and found the subject and began life-saving efforts,” Chief Fulp said. “Unfortunately, those efforts were not successful.”

In addition, Chief Fulp said, two pets perished in the blaze.

“We’d heard there might be three children inside, but that turned out not to be the case,” the chief added.

Beaufort Emergency Medical Services personnel also responded, and transported the victim to Carteret Health Care.

The Morehead City, Otway, Harkers Island and North River fire departments also responded to the call. Morehead City Fire Department personnel manned the Beaufort fire station while firefighters were at the scene.

Chief Fulp said firefighters quickly knocked out the blaze, and there was never any danger of it spreading, as the only nearby structure in the largely rural area off Taylor Farm Road, near Highway 101, was an outbuilding on the same property.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

Previous report

BEAUFORT — Officials have confirmed one fatality as the result of a Saturday morning house fire off Courtney Lane.

Crews responded to an active blaze at 149 Courtney Lane in Beaufort early Saturday and have since cleared the scene.

According to Beaufort fire officials, at least one person is dead.

This is a developing report. 

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