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Fire kills seven in Ocean Isle Beach

READ MORE: Fire kills seven in Ocean Isle Beach
OCEAN ISLE BEACH -- The fire that claimed the lives of seven young people in Ocean Isle Beach started Sunday morning in a house off Scotland Street. Neighbor George Smith said, "The whole sky was lit up like an early sunrise." It only took four minutes for fire crews to respond to the 911 call about a fire at a house on Scotland Street in Ocean Isle Beach, but in those four minutes, the house had already become fully engulfed. "From the ground up to about 20 feet above the house," Smith said. "Everything. I've never seen a fire so quick, that fast." Witness Nell Blanton said, "I could hear a guy hollering help. At fist I just thought it was somebody cutting up. We came out this door and saw black smoke. In a few minutes the fire was up over the house. I still get chills hearing the guy calling for help." The six people able to escape the fire were treated and released from Brunswick Community Hospital, including one man who survived by jumping out of a window and into a nearby canal. The other seven people in the house when the fire started were unable to get out in time and died. Investigators say six of the seven victims were University of South Carolina students. The seventh was a Clemson University student. "We suffered an emotional tragedy this morning in Ocean Isle Beach," Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith said. Officials say smoke alarms inside the house were working and going off when fire crews arrived on scene. "North Carolina code does not require sprinkler systems in most building structures," Mayor Smith said. The cause of the fire has not been determined. The State Bureau of Investigations, along with Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is looking into what started the fire but there is no indication it was intentionally set. No other homes were damaged. Investigators will not release the names of the victims until all of the family members have been notified.

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ACCIDENTS

MY HEART GOES OUT TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF THE FAMLIES THAT WAS IN THAT HOUSE ON OCEAN ISLE BEACH. AND MAY GOD GIVE YOU ALL COMFORT IN YOUR TIME OF NEED. I LIVE IN THE AREA CLOSE BY AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK OCEAN ISLE PD FOR FAST ACTION AND ALL THE FIREMAN THAT WAS THERE AND TRY SO HARD TO DO WHAT THEY ARE TRAIN TO DO . I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS ON THEM TOO BECAUSE I TOO WAS A FIREFIGHTER AND GOD WE TAKE IT HOME IN OUR HEART JUST LIKE YOU WOULD HAS FAMILY MEMBER . TODAY GOD BLESS HIM MY SON IN LAW WAS ON SCENCE AND I KNOW WHAT HE FEELING. I KNOW THE CHIEF OF GL WAS OUT OF TOWN IN TRAINING CLASS SOON HAS HE HEARD HE WAS ON THE PHONE WITH HIS STATION DOING ALL HE COULD DO TO MAKE SURE HELP WAS THERE . I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO ALL FIRE FIGHTERS AND PERSONAL THANKS TO OCEAN ISLE PD. GUYS AND LADIES YOU ARE GREAT IN MY EYES

Firefighters and police

To all of you that tried so hard to save these young people, please remember that your efforts may not have made a difference in that a life was lost, but to the families knowing that you tried means everything. I hope that services are available to help everyone, including those in the community that tried to help. God Bless the LEO and Firefighters, and everyone who tried to help.