Fire ruins elderly couple's home

Fire ruins elderly couple's home

ATLANTIC BEACH, CARTERET COUNTY - A family spent Easter Sunday helping their elderly family members recover from a house fire.

George and Connie Summerlin were sleeping inside their duplex on Lee Drive when their Atlantic Beach home caught fire.

Crews got the call at approximately 10 a.m. after the fire was sparked on the outside, wooden deck at the home, crews said.

The fire spread from the deck and went into the attic, leading to the collapse of the roof.

Rescue crews took the Summerlins to the hospital Saturday morning. The couple suffered smoke inhalation and are now OK.

"I woke up early in the morning. I was asleep on the couch in the living room and I heard a cracking sound, so I opened the door and the fire rushed in," said George Summerlin.

Sumerlin said his first reaction was to get his wife out of the house. He said they ran out of the back door and then called 911.

Connie Summerlin said although it's hard to see everything in ashes, she is just happy they're alive.

"I have not been back in the house. It's just all material stuff but precious memories," said Summerlin.

The Summerlin's said they plan to now live in an assisted living home.

They said the Red Cross has provided them a hotel for three days while they figure things out.

Fire officials said the  Summerlin's duplex is a total loss; crews saved the other half, which remains habitable, crews said.

No one else was hurt.

The specific cause is still under investigation and is considered accidental.

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