Charleston man describes escape from house fire

By Gregory

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Charleston man said he was awakened in the predawn hours of Sunday morning to a commotion outside his window. That's when he found his home engulfed in flames.

Passing by the front of the three story house at 124 Beaufain Street, it looks untouched.

"It doesn't look like anything happened it, you can still see the flowers and everything," said Susan Lyons who lives in the neighborhood.

On the other side of the house, it's a different story.

"You can see that it's devastated, it's like half of the house burned down," said Lyons.

The Charleston Fire Department says the house caught on fire around 3:45 a.m. Sunday. Robert Gibb says he was in the house sleep when he heard a commotion outside.

He woke up to his house engulfed in flames.

"I went to the front door of my apartment, opened the door, and there were already smoke and flames down there. So at that point I slid down the columns of the porch and hit my ribs and injured myself a little bit getting out," said Gibb.

It took several hours to extinguish the fire that displaced 12 people.

Gibb says all of his belongings burned in the fire, but he is thankful his dad drove down from New York to help.

"I'll take him to a doctor today, and then we are going to look for new housing," said Ron Gibb.

The roads around the house were blocked off all day Monday. Fire officials say they will not begin investigating the cause of the fire until the building is deemed safe to enter.

Gibb says he is just thankful he is alive.

"Everybody is glad that nobody is actually seriously injured, and we are all really lucky that we have a support system to rely on and the fire team responded quickly," said Gibb.

The Red Cross helped eight of the fire victims with money, clothes and a place to stay.