LAURINBURG – A house fire late Monday took the life of an animal lover and several rescue animals, officials said.
Authorities have identified the victim killed in the blaze as Sean Patrick Flynn, 49, of 12540 Ponderosa Circle.
The home where Flynn died served as a rescue for special needs pets — animals who might be overlooked for adoption due to health issues, deformities, dietary restrictions, age or behavioral issues.
Some of the animals were saved, but several perished in the fire. Firefighters said Flynn died trying to save some of the animals.
Flynn’s body will be sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy to determine an exact cause of death.
It is unclear how the fire began.
Laurinburg Fire Department turned the case over to Laurinburg Police Department to investigate the cause.
A call for the structure fire came in to the emergency operations center at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, according to Assistant Police Chief Terry Chavis.
The home was fully engulfed by the time first responders arrived.
“Upon arrival the fire was already coming out of the roof. We later learned, after the fire was extinguished, that there was an individual inside,” Chavis said.
“We want to thank the ATF and SBI who helped us comb through the scene just to make sure there wasn’t any criminal activity that had taken place,” Chavis said. “It’s still being investigated, but it doesn’t look suspicious at this point.”
Nearly 50 firefighters from Laurinburg, Laurel Hill and Maxton worked for two hours to extinguish the blaze, according to Engineer Donald Locklear with the Laurinburg Fire Department.
“Some of the animals were in the back yard, and we were able to assist with getting them to safety,” Locklear said.
Officials from the Scotland County Humane Society could not be reached for comment.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169