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Second alarm fire destroys house, blocks Platt Springs Road Wednesday afternoon near Springdale

Springdale, SC – A two story home burned in the county just at the edge of the town of Springdale Wednesday afternoon,bringing firefighters from across the county. The fire quickly caused area traffic to snarl. The fire was at the intersection of West Fairlane Drive and Platt Springs Road.

The fire was reported sometime around 3:00 p.m. When the first trucks and personnel arrived, they had flames and smoke pouring from the older wood frame home. Callers had advised that the occupant of the house, an older man, was dashing back in and out of the house trying to retrieve items. The 911 center was receiving multiple calls regarding the fire at this point.

Firefighters began to pull their attack lines, and tried to knock the fire down from the exterior. The second due pumper dropped a 5” supply hose from a hydrant near Ermine Road, up Platt Springs, and into the fire. This was connected to the first-in truck that had its lines in play. Once more teams arrived on the scene, firefighters were able to knock the fire down to the point that they could switch to an interior attack. A second alarm was struck, bringing more resources and manpower to assist.

Springdale Police Corporal Chris Manuel quickly began setting up a safety zone for the fire crews by blocking Platt Springs Road at Banny Jones Road between KMS and Time Warner. Officer Vicky Pankow, Springdale’s code enforcement officer,was also on the scene, and the extra manpower that she represented played a key role in helping to control the traffic quickly. Eventually, an officer from the Airport Department of Public Safety pitched in and established a roadblock at Ermine and Platt Springs, effectively closing about 1000’ of Platt Springs Road.

As more firefighters arrived and began to make headway on the fire, a fire service rehab truck arrived and set up. This truck has a tent for shade, fans, chairs for rest, coolers, and other tools vital to rehabbing and returning firefighters to a level where they can return to the fire fight. An EMS crew arrived early and they were monitoring the firefighters' vital signs and overall general health prior to returning them to ready status. That crew also checked over the home’s occupant who was at this point standing in the yard watching in disbelief.

Eventually, firefighters from across the central and southern portions of the county arrived and together they brought the fire under control. The crews were cycling through the rehab process and some returned to the fight multiple times before the fire was considered under control.

Chief Kevin Cornett notified The Lexington Ledger staff on scene he would completely block Platt Springs at Wattling Road at about 4:30 p.m. if the firefighters and equipment were still in the road. He wanted to do that before the afternoon commuters began to flood the roads and he would have to turn them around or route them all through the roads of Midland’s Tech’s Airport Campus down Banny Jones Road. At about 4:15, traffic began to increase significantly and that move was made.

Traffic along Airport Boulevard and Augusta Road increased significantly over the next fifteen minutes. Ermine Road was also backing up and the line of traffic on Platt Springs began to stretch back in toward Columbia past the light at Wattling. Several wrecks, the most severe at Augusta Road and Wattling, also acted to make the traffic situation worse.

Eventually, traffic deputies from the county arrived and helped to reassess the situation. Some of the fire equipment was being released that had been parked on Platt Springs. Chief Cornett decided that most of Platt Springs would be reopened with the exception of the one lane that the fire supply line was in. This began to improve the traffic, but didn’t completely alleviate the backup.

The fire was eventually put completely out and firefighters began to pick up their hoses and equipment. All of Platt Springs Road was reopened sometime after 5:00 p.m.

During the heat of the battle firefighters from Pine Grove, Oak Grove, South Congaree, Edmund, Lexington, and a number of other county fire stations were on the fire. Equipment from other stations was moved to some of the empty fire houses to cover areas that had their primary crews committed.

According to Harrison Cayhill, spokesman for Lexington County, the home is being considered a total loss. The cause of the fire has not been released.

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