A weekend fire at a home in Valdese claimed the life of a veteran and resulted in serious injuries to two others. Carl Peterson, a U.S. Navy veteran from the Vietnam era was killed in the Saturday morning fire at 1636 Berrytown Street in Valdese. Peterson's age has not been released. According to the Triple Community Fire Department, Mr. Peterson's wife, Odessa Peterson, and sister-in-law, Sarah Johnson, were airlifted to hospitals in Spartanburg and Winston-Salem respectively.
Triple Community Firefighters responded to the fire Saturday morning. When they arrived, they found a single-story residential building leaking smoke from eves and windows. Reports say that there were three victims still inside the home at the time of the call. When firefighters arrived, they immediately began rescue efforts. Reports say by this time, flames were coming from the front door and window. While one crew worked to contain the fire, another crew entered through a bedroom window and rescued two female victims.
The fire was quickly brought under control. The two women were transported to a local hospital, Mr. Peterson was pronounced dead at the scene. The report from the Triple Community Fire Department says there was no evidence of working smoke alarms in the home.
The conditions of the two women was unknown, the cause of the fire is under investigation by the Burke County Fire Marshal’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation. In addition to Triple Community Fire Department, Burke County EMS, the Drexel Fire Department, Burke County Rescue Squad, Burke County Fire Marshal’s Office and Sheriff’s Office, and SBI responded.