West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – A fire at building A of the Riverbend Apartments in West Columbia damaged four separate units to the point that the families there were displaced. According to Chief Chris Smith of the West Columbia Fire Department, the fire itself was contained to one first-floor apartment with some extension to the unit above that. Two other apartments to the sides of the one that was burning were both damaged by the smoke and water to the point that they are currently uninhabitable.
Chief Smith said that his department received the call regarding the fire at 12:38 p.m. They had smoke showing on arrival and firefighters encountered flames in one room of the ground-floor unit when they entered the apartment. The fire was brought under control quickly; however the damage to the apartments was already done. Chief Smith said that the American Red Cross is on the scene assisting the four displaced families.
The firefighters from West Columbia were assisted by trucks and personnel from the Cayce Department of Public Safety and the City of Columbia FD. Chief Smith said that he has had his fire marshals on the scene Wednesday afternoon working to determine the cause and origin of the fire.