Colleton County Fire-Rescue


15/March/2015 – Structure Fire – “A” Shift

Incident # 15-01424 – One firefighter was injured and a residential dwelling destroyed Sunday morning 15-March. At 01:15, Fire-Rescue was notified of a reported explosion and house fire at 461 Three Mile Road, north of Walterboro. Engine 19 arrived to the rural dirt road minutes later to find the single story wood frame dwelling fully involved. It is suspected that the home had been burning for quite some time before anyone discovered the fire. The entire roof had already burned off of the building. A LP tank was found to be venting behind the structure sending flames 20 feet into the air. It is believed the tank venting was the loud noise which alerted neighbors to the fire.

The driveway to the home was equipped with narrow metal gate which prevented fire apparatus from accessing the property. Firefighters deployed two 3 inch lines from Engine 19 through the yard to the building, then gated them down to supply two 1-3/4 handlines each. One crew was dedicated to cool the LP tank, while other firefighters combated the blaze. One nearby exposure was endangered.

A detached apartment, carport and utility room was connected by a covered walkway and located about 30 feet from the burning home. A portion of the covered walkway was badly damaged, however firefighters were able to prevent the flames from reaching the apartment and carport. While engaged in extinguishing the fire, a portion of the floor near the front of the building collapsed. One firefighter fell through the floor and landed on the floor joists below receiving injuries. He was transported by ambulance (Medic 26) to Colleton Medical Center, where he received treatment for broken ribs and other non-life threatening injuries. He was released from the hospital later in the day.

Firefighters remained on the scene for 5-1/2 hours. The large home had been vacant for over a year, but still had power connected. The origin of the fire appeared to be suspicious in nature. Colleton Fire Investigators notified the Sheriff’s Office and the SLED Arson Unit. SLED Agents and other investigators remained on the scene throughout the morning. Anyone with information concerning the incident are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detectives at 843-549-2211, the SLED Arson Hotline at 1-800-92-ARSON or Fire-Rescue Headquarters at 843-539-1960.


Engine 5, Engine 19, Engine 26, Tender 1, Tender 19, Tender 26, Medic 19, Medic 26, Battalion 1 and Car 12 responded. Firefighter-EMTs Brian Bishop and Shane Weber served as Incident Command.  

Photos by Harold Buzzell