By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - An extremely sad day in Carolina Beach history. A condo fire Monday morning January 8th, took the life of 69 year old Carolina Beach resident Deborah Ann Reifschneider.
Carolina Beach Fire Chief Alan Griffin said fire fighters were dispatched shortly before 9am to the Inland Harbor Condominiums at 500 Saint Joseph Street. Griffin said the fire started in one unit and spread to adjacent units. Crews contained the fire within those three units, but eight other units experienced smoke and water damage. The Red Cross is working to provide assistance to residents of the building.
There are 18 units overall in the building. Griffin said there was one fatality but they will not release the name at this time. In addition to the Carolina Beach Fire Department, crews from the Kure Beach, Wilmington, New Hanover County and Leland departments also responded. The State Bureau of Investigation was also at the scene.
Around eight families or couples need housing and the Pleasure Island Relief Fund has set up a gofundme page online at www.gofundme.com/pleasure-island-disaster-relief
100% of the proceeds will first go to assist to the Inland Harbor Fire victims. Anything left over will create a reserve for future incidents and beyond that will be donated to the Carolina Beach Fire Dept to continue their fire safety education efforts. Those uncomfortable with making online donations are welcome to stop by the Carolina Beach Town Hall 1121 North Lake Park Boulevard Carolina Beach NC.
On Thursday, Detective Scott Hettinger explained, "As a result of an autopsy, officials with the Carolina Beach Police Department are releasing the official identification of the deceased individual from the fire at 500 St.Joseph St. on January 8,2018 as, Deborah Ann Reifschneider. Deborah Reifschneider is described as a 69 year old female and a resident of 500 St.Joseph St. Unit 3302, Carolina Beach, N.C. Next of kin has been notified. At this time there are no criminal circumstances resulting in the death of Deborah Reifschneider. The official cause of death is pending and will be determined by the medical examiner’s office. Due to the extent of the fire damage to the building, the fire is being ruled as undetermined with no suspicious circumstances."
Deborah Ann Reifschneider