A Catawba County man was killed and his mother taken to a Winston-Salem burn center with serious injuries after a cigarette sparked a fire early Saturday morning.
Firefighters in Claremont identified the dead man as Charles Kipling Isaac, 43. His mother, Kay Price Isaac, was taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center's burn unit and listed in serious condition.
At 6:11 a.m., a neighbor dialed 911 about the fire, on North Church Street. As firefighters got close, they could see smoke and flames coming from the window of a back bedroom, where investigators believe the fire started.
Firefighters entered the house from the front, which hadn't been touched by fire yet, to try to push the flames back, said Claremont Fire Chief Gary Sigmon.
They first found Charles Isaac in a hallway near the rear of the house. They took him outside, performed CPR and took him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His mother was also found in the hallway of the 1,000-square-foot house.
“They had tried to exit,” Sigmon said. “And that's as far as they got.”
Sigmon said he suspects Isaac died of smoke inhalation, but authorities were waiting for the results of an autopsy to make a final determination.
Investigators from the Catawba fire marshal's office and the State Bureau of Investigation were looking into the fire, because a person was killed, but their preliminary conclusion is that it was an accident, Sigmon said.
They pored over the fire scene Saturday afternoon, Sigmon said. It's unclear if the home had a working smoke detector, but investigators had not yet sorted through all the rubble.