North Carolina

Fire destroys beach house where 15 visitors were staying, North Carolina officials say

A fire on Sunday destroyed a North Carolina beach house where 15 visitors were staying, media outlets report.

The North Topsail Beach Fire Department was called to the house on New River Inlet Road just before 5 a.m. and had the fire under control after about 30 minutes, WWAY reported.

But crews remained at the scene until 2 p.m. “wetting down ‘hot spots’,” WWAY reported.

North Topsail Beach is a town in Onslow County, about 43 miles from Wilmington.

The 15 people were staying in the house as part of a family vacation, WECT reported, and none of them or any first responders were hurt.

Tim Baker, managing broker and vice president of Treasure Realty, told that the people staying in the house were part of a group of 60 family members that vacation at Topsail every year.

He told JDNews that the company found another house for them by 9 a.m.

“They lost everything they brought with them, clothes, phones, food, and even their vehicles,” he said, according to JDNews.

Those who want to help the family can donate items at Treasure Realty, Baker told the news outlet.

Beth Earnest Hanwell, a neighbor, posted about the fire on Facebook.

“There is nothing left of it ... it burned to the ground,” she wrote. “Our house is standing, deck charred, walkway to beach burned, and siding melted on that side but it is standing.”

She wrote that it was “the scariest thing she had been through in a while.”

The cause of the fire is not known, WECT reported.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.