Firefighters battle West Columbia house fire in frigid conditions Tuesday morning
West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – Firefighters from a number of departments battled a fire in a single-family residence in the 1100 block of Fontanna Ave. in the city of West Columbia Tuesday morning. The call, which was received at approximately 3 a.m., was dispatched as temperatures in the area hovered in the mid-teens.
The first units to arrive were from the city of West Columbia’s Fire Department. That truck's officer reported that they had flames and smoke showing from the home. Other firefighting resources quickly arrived shortly after that first engine and stretched a supply hose from a fire hydrant at Fontanna Avenue and Navajo Trail, a distance of just over 100’. Teams quickly completed suiting up and attacked the fire that was coming out of the home in several places.
Additional resources arrived on the scene under auto aid agreements with the surrounding jurisdictions. This included Engine 2 out of the Columbia FD as well as one of their battalion chiefs, an engine and ladder out of Cayce, and Engine 9 and a battalion chief from Lexington County. All arrived and quickly swung into action backing up the West Columbia firefighters who had already entered the small home and were aggressively attacking the fire.
Before the fire departments arrived, the fire was believed to have extended into the attic of the home. Firefighters used ladders and special tools to access that area and begin extinguishing that fire. Ventilation was established so that the trapped heat and smoke would clear and the fire would show itself to the crews fighting it. Eventually, the combined teams knocked the fire down and brought it under control.
The utilities company was called to secure the power to the home. As of 5:00 a.m. this morning, teams were still on scene putting out hot spots in the home and performing salvage and overhaul operations in hopes of saving as many of the homeowner’s belongings as possible.
The home was heavily damaged as a result of the fire. The exact cause of the fire and its origin have yet to be determined.