Colleton County Fire-Rescue


05/04/2011 A Shift Structure Fire

Incident # 11-02491 - Two Ritter families have been displaced following a mid afternoon house fire in a duplex located at 5670 Ritter Road. The fire was reported at 3:27 PM, Wednesday 4-May. Engine 6 and Engine 8 were on the scene of a woods fire in the 2200 block of Ritter Road when the incident was dispatched. Engine 8 was able to leave the woods fire to respond to the structure fire. Engine 8 arrived about four minutes later to find the single story duplex with heavy smoke conditions coming from the building and fire venting from a window at the rear of the structure. Residents were removing furniture and personal items from the building despite the smoke conditions. Firefighters deployed multiple handlines, entering the first unit where the fire started. A rear bedroom and bathroom were well involved. Fire had just burned into the second bedroom, was extending into the living room and already reached the attic space when firefighters entered the building. A second crew was sent to the other apartment. They found light smoke conditions inside the apartment with thick black smoke in the attic space.

The second team covered some furnishings with salvage covers to protect the articles, then they pulled the ceiling down in several areas to reach the attic. The two units were ventilated with two PPV fans and a handline was used for a brief period to conduct hydraulic ventilation through a rear window.

Crewmembers in the first unit made a aggressive attack stopping the spread of the fire, containing it the area of the bedrooms. The room of origin and the adjacent bathroom suffered extensive damage, however the second bedroom, living room and kitchen suffered heat and smoke damage, but contained many salvageable items. The second unit only received minor smoke damage. No one was injured during the incident. Fire units were on the scene for 1-1/2 hours. The fire appears to have started due to an electrical problem near the breaker box in the first residence. The Charleston Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the families.  


Engine 6, Engine 8, Tender 1, Tender 2, Tender 6, Tender 12, Battalion 1, Medic 1, Medic 6, Car 12, Car 118 and Car 119 responded. Battalion Chief Brent Dalton served as Incident Commander.