Survivor of the North Carolina beach house fire tells his story

by Kristen Dhalgren
NBC News

It is a story of incredible survival.

Tripp Wylie says, "I pulled the blinds off the window and kind of just kicked in the window."

And overwhelming sadness.

Terry Walden says, "we knew something awful, because Allison, her phone was off all day, we couldn't reach her."

13 students sharing a weekend at the beach when tragedy raced into their lives.

Tim burns called 911.

Newspaper deliveryman Tim Burns says, "I'm going oh my God, there's just no way I'm gonna get all these people out. And so I pretty much screamed at the 9-1-1 operator I said you've got people in this structure fire you've got to get here as quickly as you can."

6 including Tripp Wylie made it out alive.

Tripp Wylie says, "I just kind of leaned out the window, and luckily I jumped far enough, and made it out into the canal."

Seven others including 19-year-old Allison Walden did not.

Allison's father, Terry Walden, says, "there's no reason why it happened to some and not others. I think you just have to accept these things and move on and, you know, we'll get through it."

Getting through it may seem impossible to so many of these students right now though the names of the victims haven't officially been released, here on campus, they know who they were.

One Clemson University student, 6 from University of South Carolina, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, friends.

Seven young lives, stolen in minutes.

And as the mourning continues here so does the investigation fire officials are now focusing on the back of the house where they say the fire may have started as an accident.