Colleton County Fire-Rescue


21/August/2013 – Structure Fire – “C” Shift

Incident # 13-04582 – An early morning structure fire heavily damaged a home located at 1826 Wichman Street. The fire was reported at 03:02, Wednesday morning 21-August. Firefighters arrived to find the single story, wooden residential dwelling heavily involved. Engine 19 used it’s deck gun to knock down the flames, until crews deployed two 1-3/4 handlines to the building. The home contained an immense fire load, with clothing and miscellaneous articles stacked five feet high in all rooms. A neighbor reported that an elderly woman was inside the structure. Firefighters had difficulty entering the building due to the large piles of clothing, books and other items. The heaviest fire was knocked down within ten minutes, but crews worked another 25 minutes attempting to gain access to the interior. All windows and the rear door were blocked. Firefighters used a circular saw to cut away the side of the residence and removed the wooden and vinyl siding to remove the entire exterior, east wall of the building to gain access to the interior. Firefighters spent three hours tunneling though and removing debris searching for the woman. Sheriff’s Deputies were successful in finding her at a friend’s home several miles from the incident location around dawn. She was safe and did not know of the fire.

Crews continued to soak the contents of the home to extinguish the huge piles of clothing and other combustibles. Fire and Law Enforcement units remained on the scene for four and half hours. Investigators believe the fire was caused by an electrical problem in an outlet on an interior wall.

Engine 19, Engine 24, Tender 1, Tender 19, Tender 26, Tender 27, Medic 1, Medic 19, , Battalion 1 and Car 12 responded. Firefighter-Paramedic (Acting Battalion Chief) Chris Jones served as Incident Commander.