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Donations pour in for Havelock family who lost home to fire

By WCTI Staff
Published On: Apr 23 2013 11:46:29 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2013 06:13:39 PM CDT
HAVELOCK, CRAVEN COUNTY -

A Havelock family, who lost their home in a fire last week, received a new house and enough donations to rebuild their lives.

The Matson-Burkett family's previous home, on Pineview Street and East Main Street, erupted in flames on April 23. According to the fire marshal, the blaze was caused by the family's 3-year-old son playing with a lighter.

The family's 2-year-old son, Dylan, was trapped in the burning home. But Havelock firefighter Charles Winter was able to rescue the toddler.

Since then, donations have been piling up at the First Citizens Bank in Havelock, the Crabby Patty's restaurant in Havelock, and the Parkview Baptist Church in Morehead City, the family told NewsChannel 12.

"I can't imagine where I would be at if I didn't have any help from anybody," Dylan's mother, Destiny Matson said. "Really, I can't even name a lot of them. A lot of the people have been helping me deal with it."

Matson said 2-year-old Dylan is fine; he is just a little fussy because of a lack of sleep. However, with all of the donations, things should get better for him.

The Matson-Burkett family said they still need dressers, pillows, sheets, a large bed, and cleaning supplies. Monetary and other donations can be made to the First Citizens Bank in Havelock or the Parkview Baptist Church in Morehead City.

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Investigators have released the cause of Tuesday's Havelock house fire that trapped a 2-year-old boy.

The home, on the corner of Pineview Street and East Main Street, erupted in flames at noon Tuesday, because William Burkett's 3-year-old son was playing with a lighter, according to the fire marshal. Officials did not release any more information.

Burkett and his 3-year-old son were able to escape from their burning home safely. But Burkett's 2-year-old son, Dylan, was trapped inside.

"When I came back in the window, I held my breath and I hit the floor and started looking around and I literally had to jump back out. I have cuts all over my hands," Burkett told NewsChannel 12. "When you're just sitting there, looking at your house and there's nothing you can do about it and you know he's in there, there's not a feeling for it."

A team of first responders soon arrived at the scene. Havelock firefighter Charles Winter described how he climbed through a window to save the 2-year-old from the burning home.

"So, I went in; I couldn't find the baby [because] it was pitch black. I couldn't see anything," said Winter. "After looking for a couple minutes, they said they could hear crying from another bedroom. So I had to leave that bedroom out the window and then go in another window in order to try and find him. When I was in that room is when I actually found him. He was in the corner."

Winter said he then grabbed the 2-year-old boy and passed the child out of the window to other first responders.

"He had a lot of smoke around his face and he had soot all over his body, but nothing burned that I could see," Winter said of the toddler.

But during the rescue, two fingers on Winter's right hand suffered minor burns. Winter said he didn't have his glove on properly because of his rush to get inside the burning home.

As of Wednesday evening, 2-year-old Dylan was still at Vidant Medical Center, listed in good condition. According to family, the boy is expected to be released soon.

"I want to thank that fireman, whoever he is. I just gave him a big hug. He's a hero. All of these guys are heroes," said Richard Matson, Dylan's grandfather.

Dylan's mother, Destiny Matson, was at a library with her two other children when the blaze erupted, according to family. By the time she got back, the home was destroyed.

Donations can be made to the family by writing checks to the Matson/Burkett Fire Fund and sending them to White Oak Church of God, at 5054 Highway 24, Newport, N.C. 28570. For those who would like to donate items to the family, call 252-393-8484.

Firefighters said they are still investigating the cause of the blaze.