At 00:36, Wednesday morning 16-August, a passerby reported seeing flames coming from a residence in the 4000 block of Jefferies Highway, north of Walterboro, SC. The caller advised he could see fire coming from both sides of the roof. Colleton County Fire-Rescue Engine 19 arrived minutes later to find a single-story, wood structure approximately 50% involved.
Heavy fire conditions were found at the rear of the building, with two rooms already collapsed. The fire had already spread to the attic. Firefighter-paramedics deployed several handlines to combat the fire. A tender shuttle operation was initiated for water supply. Crews quickly stopped the spread of the fire at the rear of the structure, however the fire in the attic spread to the front of the building. Firefighters pulled the ceiling in the front rooms to extinguish the fire above those rooms, saving many of the belongings. The front rooms suffered smoke and water damage.
Units were on the scene for 4 hours. A cat and small dog are unaccounted for. Firefighters searched the building and the surrounding wooded area with thermal imagers, but could not located the animals. The family was out of town when the fire occurred. The cause is under investigation.
Engine 19, Engine 26, Tender 1, Tender 19, Tender 26, Tender 27, Medic 1, Medic 19, Medic 26, Battalion 1, Car 105, Car 110, Car 112 and Car 118 responded. Deputy Chief David Greene and Captain John Schneider operated the Command Post.
Barry W. McRoy, Fire Chief, Colleton County Fire-Rescue