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Firefighters battle small apartment fire near St. Andrews Saturday

St. Andrews, SC (Paul Kirby) – Irmo firefighters, assisted by personnel and equipment from Lexington County and the City of Columbia, quickly extinguished an apartment fire Saturday in the St. Andrews area of Lexington County. The fire was reported at the apartment complex on Islay Lane off Kilbrannon Drive around 11:30 a.m.

According to Battalion Chief Randy Arant of the Irmo Fire District, when his first trucks arrived, there was light smoke coming from the ridgeline of one of the buildings at the Gleneagle Apartments. This was recently renamed after being called the St. Andrews Apartments for decades. Arant had a truck lay a large supply hose in from a nearby fire hydrant while a team of firefighters pulled an attack hose and entered the apartment of origin. As they made their way to the second floor, smoke conditions worsened letting them know they were getting close to the seat of the flames.

Arant said the apartments in that complex have heat and air systems in a closet of each unit. Firefighters felt that the smoke and heat were heaviest near one of these utility areas and eventually saw a glow in the ceiling above it through the smoke. Once they located that, they pulled some of the overhead drywall down, exposed a small fire, and applied water to put it out. “We probably caught it just in time,” Chief Arant said. “I don’t think we used more than a few hundred gallons to put it out.”

Teams quickly transitioned into overhaul mode checking for extension and protecting what contents they could. The used fans to remove the smoke, monitored the atmosphere inside the apartment until all contaminants were gone, and then turned the building back over to the property’s management. The unit will need repairs before it can be leased again.

Chief Arant said he wished to thank the firefighters from other department’s that assisted the Irmo crews. “Our system works much better when we have others from around us coming to assist through our automatic aid agreements, Chief Arant said. “We know we have the extra resources there in the event that we need them.”

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