Firefighters extinguish structure fire outside Batesburg-Leesville
Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – A structure described as a commercial occupancy caught fire around 11:00 a.m. Friday morning. The building that caught fire, in the 6700 block of Augusta Hwy. across from Oswald Lumber Company, is just outside the town. Both fire stations out of Batesburg-Leesville responded with equipment and manpower as did multiple stations from Lexington County.
The first fire officer on the scene reported smoke coming from the second story of the building. He had one B&L truck come straight into the fire and the second due apparatus lay in supply hose from a hydrant off Windmill Road. This closed Windmill while the hose was on the ground.
Firefighters made an aggressive interior fire attack. Using this form of fire attack, the crew from B&L, assisted by the first arriving county crews, were able to knock the fire down quickly. They used a thermal imaging camera and ventilation fans to find and expose any hidden fire. Eventually, they had to use a series of fans to remove all the smoke because there was no outside access from the second-floor room where the heaviest fire was.
A fire official with the Batesburg Leesville Fire Department confirmed that the building was a two-story commercial structure that had been modified making it two apartments. The second story of the apartment received the most damage. Personnel with the American Red Cross was notified to assist the people displaced by the fire damage. The fire department has not yet made a final determination on the cause of the blaze.
The fire was well under control and equipment began leaving the scene before 11:45 a.m. Friday. Crews were still pulling ceilings, removing household and personal items, and checking in the floors before calling the fire completely out. Most of the remaining equipment left the scene before 12:30 p.m.