Wadesboro fire chief urges caution after fatal New Year’s Day fire

By: By Imari Scarbrough - iscarbrough@civitasmedia.com

Following a fatal fire on New Year’s Day, Wadesboro Fire Chief Marc Sessions has encouraged the town to become diligent in fire safety training.

Jasmine Burch, 25, died when a fire destroyed the home she was in on White Store Road on Jan. 1. Sessions said his department was dispatched at 10:30 a.m., arrived soon after and found four victims had escaped the fire while Burch was still inside. They attempted to find Burch but could not locate her.

Sessions said Burch may have been attempting to extinguish the fire, which is believed to have been caused by a fire left too close to combustible materials.

“We think it was possibly some Christmas decorations, but there’s no way to actually know based on the severity of the fire,” Sessions said.

Four adults were taken to the hospital for lacerations and smoke inhalation suffered while three of them were assisting a handicapped individual out of the fire, Sessions said.

Sessions said that the house was insured and that although firefighters could not find a smoke detector due to the extent of the damage, Burch’s family members said that there was one in the house. The house was a total loss.

Everyone in the house was related except a home health care provider who had arrived to assist the handicapped individual, according to Sessions.

“I would encourage our citizens to have a working exit plan and practice that plan regularly,” Sessions said. “The fire department is available to provide that education.”

To learn more about fire safety, contact the Wadesboro Police Department at 704-694-2167.

Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.

By Imari Scarbrough

iscarbrough@civitasmedia.com