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Firefighters battle multi acre fires in south region Tuesday

Edmund, SC (Paul Kirby) Firefighters and EMS personnel from Lexington County, along with employees from the South Carolina Forestry Commission, responded to two multi-acre wood fires Tuesday. Both of the large wind driven fires were in southern Lexington County, southeast of Edmund Highway (SC Hwy 302).

Just after noon, emergency responders were dispatched to Peachtree Rock Road in the Edmund community for a reported woods/brush fire. Firefighters quickly arrived on scene and found the fire burning in pine straw, woods, and dense brush.

Two homes on the tract were threatened by the fire, along with a stable on one of the properties. The large estate, formerly known as the Darden tract, also is home to several antique aircraft hangers and a grass airstrip. There was no damage to any structure and no injury to animals or people during this fire.

Lexington County’s personnel were assisted by a tractor plow unit from the SC Forestry Commission who helped to extinguish the fire. Eventually, an estimated 8-acres was affected by the blaze.

As the firefighters were finishing up on the Peachtree Rock Rd. fire, other units were dispatched to the 300 block of Victor Rd. between Gaston, Edmund, and Sharpe’s Hill just before 2:45 p.m.

The fire, started in short dry grass,raced across a pasture, claimed one vehicle, two outdoor sheds, some small planted pines, and destroyed a fence. Although the fire threatened three residences and a camper, only some small outbuildings like a pump house were destroyed.

Residents stood in disbelief at how fast the fire had spread. Several had quickly packed their most precious belongings in their cars in case they needed to flee as the fire approached.

In several cases, firefighters arrived just as the flames began to lick at the underpinning of their homes. The vinyl that is supposed to protect the underneath of the homes was curled and discolored as small groups of neighbors gathered to check the damages and talk about what had just happened.

Some recalled a similar fire that had torn through the general area some months earlier. During that fire, one of their neighbor’s mobile homes was completely destroyed before firefighters could arrive on the scene and its advance.

A SC Forestry Commission employee arrived on location and unloaded a bulldozer that he used to plow a break through the sandy soil to ensure the fire didn’t spread any further. That break snaked through the heaviest brush as the winds that were gusting quickly spread the dust that rose from the tracks of the heavy tractor.

Fire officials said that they believed that this fire was started by a yard debris burn that got out of control. No one was injured as a result of the blaze.

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