An Oakman Branch family was displaced after their home was destroyed in a late afternoon house fire, Friday evening 09-January. At 16:38, a caller reported the back of the home at 11138 Augusta Highway was ablaze. Colleton County (SC) Firefighters arrived to the rural community near I-95 eleven minutes later to find the 4,800 square foot, two-story house fully involved. A second alarm was issued shortly after arrival and a portion of the roof collapsed within two minutes of Engine 26 arriving on the scene. Firefighters used a truck mounted deck gun, deployed a ground monitor, a 2-1/2 handline, and multiple 1-3/4 handlines to combat the fire. A tender shuttle was established for water supply since no fire hydrants were in the area.
A third alarm was issued for additional tenders and personnel approximately ten minutes after arrival. The main structure collapsed nine minutes later. The fire was contained within 35 minutes and was under control approximately an hour later. Firefighters remained on the scene for six hours performing overhaul. Nine of Fire-Rescue’s 3,000-gallon tenders shuttled water for four hours.
The home owner advised he started a fire in the home’s fireplace. It was the first time they had used the fireplace since the home was constructed 15 years prior. Approximately 15 minutes later he saw flames through a window on the rear of the home. Upon investigating he found the back of the house and roof were on fire. He was able to evacuate everyone from the home safely and notify 9-1-1. No one was injured during the incident and the American Red Cross is assisting the family. Off-duty personnel were called in to back fill some stations.
Engine 13, Engine 17, Engine 19, Engine 26, Tender 5, Tender 6, Tender 7, Tender 9, Tender 18, Tender 19, Tender 26, Tender 27, Tender 32, Rescue 1, Medic 18, Medic 26, Battalion 1, Car 12, Car 118, Car 105, Car 107 responded. Battalion Chief Ben Heape served as incident commander.
Barry W. McRoy, Fire Chief, Colleton County Fire-Rescue