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Mobile home burns while caregiver walks to school bus stop to retrieve children

Gaston, SC (Paul Kirby) – A mobile home burned Monday afternoon on Woodtrail Lane off Woodtrail Drive that displaced a woman and her children and left the home gutted. The fire was reported around 3:30 p.m.

Fire service equipment had just been dispatched to another call in the Sandy Run area of southern Lexington County when this call came in. As soon as the crew from Sandy Run arrived on the first scene, they realized that it was nothing more than a small pumphouse and some brush burning, and that team gave the word that the other responding equipment could reroute to the fire on Woodtrail. This meant that a number of resources were already near that area and the firefighters began arriving on Woodtrail quickly.

When the first truck pulled up, they found fire coming out of the small single-wide in the area of the kitchen. It was also consuming the front porch of the home. The fire crews pulled their hoses up the rather steep rise that the house sat on and made their attack. Once more manpower arrived at the fire, they were able to enter the home and knock the fire down.

The tenant of the home said that she had been at work when she received the call that her house was on fire. She came from the Harbison area to the scene to find the gutted shell of her former home still smoking and firefighters wetting down the remaining burned debris. She said that her brother actually owned the home; however she had been renting it from him so that she and her children would have a place to live.

According to that tenant, she had someone at the home watching her children while she worked. That caregiver was cooking something on the stove when she realized it was time to walk down to Woodtrail Drive to get her school-aged children off the bus. She apparently left the pot simmering on the stove, thinking it would be okay until she returned. When she did walk back up the hill with the children, the home was on fire.

Firefighters from Gaston, Swansea, South Congaree, Sharpe’s Hill, Pelion, Lexington, and other Lexington County fire stations responded. They were assisted by a crew from Lexington EMS.

Although it only took a short while to put the fire out, the home is being considered a total loss by the fire service.

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