Colleton County Fire-Rescue


06/23/2010 Two Structure Fires C Shift

Incident # 11-03463 At 16:07 Thursday afternoon 23-June, 9-1-1 Operators received multiple calls reporting explosions and a barn on fire in the 1800 block of Rivers Street. While units were responding, dispatchers advised callers were reporting a house on fire as well, with a woods fire and two mobile homes and a storage building threatened. Car 111 and Engine 1 arrived at 1881 Rivers Street seven minutes later to find a fully involved barn and a single story wooden residence burning with heavy black smoke visible from all sides of the structure. The fire was rapidly spreading into the woods on two sides of the property and was burning within several feet of a singlewide mobile home on the D side of the building. Engine 1 was directed down a narrow overgrown driveway and was advised to lay a supply line from the roadway. Engine 19 was directed to the adjacent property to protect the nearby residence on the B side and deploy handlines to the rear of the burning building to stop the spreading woods fire on that property and to assist Engine 1s crew with barn. Engine 1 deployed two 1-3/4 handlines and one 2-1/2 handline to the front and rear of the building.

Tenders established a water shuttle operation from Rivers Street for water supply, using a pressurized hydrant on Gadsden Loop approximately mile from the scene. A second alarm was issued upon arrival and a tractor from the Forestry Commission was requested.

Firefighters moved one 1-3/4 line and the 2-1/2 line from Engine 1 to the rear of the building. The barn was fully involved and the roof had already collapsed. The rear of the home was well involved as well. The rear porch had already burned away. The two back rooms were well involved and the fire had already entered the attic space. Flames were extending from the roof on the B and D sides along the roof line. Exterior crews used the 1-3/4 line to extinguish the fire near the mobile home and then began working on the exterior of the residence. Other firefighters advanced the 2-1/2 line to work on the burning barn. Crews from Engine 19 knocked down the spreading woods fire on the B side and then advanced their lines to the barn. The fire from the barn had spread to multiple piles of stored lumber, tires and farm machinery on the property.

The barn was used for storage and was filled with a multitude of items including building materials, antiques, several LP tanks, small butane tanks, combustible metals and ammunition which exploded during the early stages of the fire. Once the exterior fire on the residence was knocked down, a crew entered the building through the front door with one 1-3/4 handline. They worked their way to the rear of the building finding a heavy fire load in the back of the residence. Boxes of magazines, bedding, furniture and clothing were piled five feet high in the rear bedrooms. Firefighters worked for close to 35 minutes to bring the fire under control.

The Forestry tractor arrived and cut a line around the rear of the property. The Tractor Operator assisted crews at the rear of the property breaking up piles of lumber and dispersing the remains of the barn to allow firefighters to overhaul the debris. Crewmembers worked for another two hours to overhaul the buildings, unloading the burned and smoldering boxes of clothing from the home. One man was at home when the fire was reported.

He noted that he was asleep and did not know how the fire started. The man was able to escape without injury. The cause is under investigation. Firefighters stopped the spread of the fire through the residence, however the building suffered heavy damage. The barn was destroyed but the other exposures were saved.

Engine 1, Engine 19, Engine 26, Tender 1, Tender 2, Tender 6, Tender 8, Tender 12, Tender 19, Tender 26, Tender 27, Medic 1, Medic 26, Battalion 1, Car 12, Car 116, Car 118 and Car 119 responded.  Assistant Chief David Greene and Lieutenant Joseph Campbell operated the Command Post. Battalion Chief Dan Barb and Lt. Brian Drew directed water supply.