Swansea, SC (Paul Kirby) A double-wide mobile home near Swansea and Mack Edisto was destroyed yesterday evening by fire. Firefighters and equipment from across the southern portion of the county responded quickly, but the flames had already consumed the home.
Resources from several county fire stations were dispatched to what was originally reported as a brush fire. That was upgraded to a structure response after call takers at the dispatch center received more information from people reporting the fire. The upgrade sent additional fire equipment and manpower from Swansea, Mack Edisto, Sandy Run, Gaston, Sharpe’s Hill, South Congaree, and other stations. An EMS unit was also dispatched, which is standard operating procedure for a working structure fire.
When the first due personnel arrived on the scene, they discovered a double-wide mobile home that was, “on the ground,” a term used to describe a structure that had already burned completely down. The crews also had another home being threatened and a large grass or brush fire slowly spreading.
The fire commander requested a tractor-plow unit from the SC Forestry Commission to plow a break around the brush fire. It was believed to be approximately 3 acres in size. These plowed lines are invaluable to firefighters who cannot work in heavy brush and timber that would catch their hoses or have deep burning embers under ground cover that could prevent water from penetrating to the fire.
The number of pieces of fire apparatus that responded was necessary because of a lack of fire hydrants in the area. If a hydrant is more than 1000 feet away, as is the case in most rural areas in Lexington County, water must be carried to the fire in specially built tankers by the firefighters.
The fire was eventually brought under control and the last equipment was leaving the scene after dark. It wasn’t clear by radio traffic whether the home burned, and set the woods on fire, or if the woods fire actually burned the home. Neither the cause of the fire nor the full estimated loss caused by the blaze has been released by the county.