Officials say five people suffer burns in Lee County

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Three small children and two adults suffered severe burns Tuesday in a house fire in rural Lee County that possibly could have followed some type of explosion, county authorities said.

Sheriff Jim Johnson said the burn victims include two 2-year-old children, a 3-year-old and two women ages 25 and 26. He said the five were inside the house.

“They have been transported by air to a burn center in Georgia,” Johnson said. He did not release their names.

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Johnson said the house was fully engulfed in flames when his officers and firefighters arrived on the scene in the rural Palmetto community in the southwestern part of the county.

While he said officials had not determined how the fire started, “from witnesses, all indications we can tell, they did hear a noise and the fire erupted pretty quickly.” However, he said it would be premature to say the fire was due to an explosion.

He said his investigators and representatives of the state fire marshal would investigate.