Oak Grove, SC (Paul Kirby) One woman has died following a Saturday morning house fire in the center of the county. Lexington County emergency dispatchers received the call shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday morning reporting the fire in the 100 block of Dickert Drive near Oak Grove.
When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, they found heavy flames and smoke pouring from the brick home. Callers had reported that 3 people might be trapped in the inferno.
Firefighters immediately went into rescue mode upon arrival, searching the home for any occupants that might be trapped. Eventually, they located one woman whom they were able to remove from the burning house. Two other residents of the home had already escaped.
Although the most severely injured woman was evaluated on the scene, she succumbed to her injuries. The two others who had escaped were slightly injured. They were transported by Lexington County EMS for treatment at a local hospital.
During the fire, the power line that fed the electricity into the home burned in two and fell into the front yard. It remained live for some time and arched and spewed bright sparks all across the yard. This prevented the firefighters from stopping the fire’s spread to two cars that were parked in the drive.Eventually, both of those were consumed by the flames as well.
SCE&G eventually arrived on the scene and de-energized the lines in the yard. This allowed the firefighters better access to the home from every side. After this, the fire was quickly brought under control.
During the fight, firefighters from many of the county’s central and southern fire stations were thrown into the battle. This included Oak Grove, Pine Grove, Lexington, Corley Mill, South Congaree, Edmund, Sharpe’s Hill, Gaston, Gilbert, Lake Murray, and other stations. Eventually, manpower from as far away as Chapin was brought in to relieve firefighters who were being rehabbed.
West Columbia had manpower, equipment, and officers on the scene helping out. Equipment from Batesburg-Leesville, Irmo, and the city of Columbia were on standby status at Lexington County stations whose resources were committed to the scene.
Even though Dickert Drive is in the central portion or more developed portion of the county, there were no fire hydrants near the burning home. A rural water or tanker operation was set up that relied on water tankers to shuttle water for the firefighters into the fire from a hydrant on Hwy. 1.
Several times during the fight, cars full of people intent on looking at the spectacle, blocked the street, impeding the tankers bringing the water. Neighbors and bystanders motioned for the cars to get out of the street to let the tankers through.
As soon as the fire was under control, a representative from the Lexington County Coroner’s Office initiated their investigation into the death of the woman. Agents from the SC Law Enforcement Division also began arriving after being requested by the fire service and the sheriff’s office. This is standard operating procedure for all fatal fires in Lexington County.
The name of the deceased individual will be released sometime over the next few days by the coroner. It may be some time before the cause of the fire is determined by SLED.