Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – The Cayce Department of Public Safety had the assistance of the West Columbia Fire Department while fighting a structure fire in the 2300 block of Lee Street Tuesday afternoon. Lee is off Frink Street and runs southeast toward I-77.
The fire was burning in a single-family home along a quiet street. On arrival of the first due fire engine, firefighters found flames coming from both ends of the home. There was also smoke pushing from the roofline of the house.
It took quite some time for the crews to bring the fire under control because the flames had burned into hidden spaces between the original structure and an addition on the rear. The first crews protected the structures on either side from the fire and the next in team attacked the fire in the interior.
A truck and manpower from West Columbia responded under their mutual aid agreement. They were key to the fire fight working alongside the Cayce teams. According to Captain Thomas Steinbring, captain over the special operations unit and the fire department, everyone immediately meshed into one cohesive team that worked side by side to fight the fire. He complimented the automatic aid agreement and said that it was key to protecting the citizens of both cities, and the surrounding areas.
An EMS unit from Lexington County was also there on standby from the county. They provide an additional level of safety for the firefighters and anyone else who might be on the scene.
Steinbring said that approximately half of the home was saved as a result of the effort. Most of the front portion of the home received just water and smoke damage that can be cleaned up quickly. The rear addition was gutted because of the fire.
The resident of the home, Ms. Willie Dean Anderson, will soon turn 105-years-old in May. She had a grandson staying with her to help her daily. She was home at the time of the fire, but was not injured during the tragedy.
Anderson’s granddaughter, Stephanie Kelly, was working with a group of family and friends Wednesday to clean up, and begin the recovery process the day after the fire. Kelly took a moment to compliment the work of the emergency crews. “The firefighters and other emergency workers were absolutely wonderful. The front of the house is smoked up, but the firefighters saved that part. Without them, grandma’s house would have burned down, and the neighbor’s house would probably be gone too.” She said that Captain Steinbring had already checked on them Wednesday, and others were coming by regularly to show their support.
Kelly said that her grandmother was staying with her, and neighbors and officers from Cayce were closely keeping an eye on the property during the recovery process. “We’re go to be alright,” Kelly said. “What we can’t save, we’ll get rid of, but grandma is okay, and that’s the main thing.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.