Mechanical fire in industrial building joins firefighters from four departments in team effort
St. Andrews, SC (Paul Kirby) – A malfunctioning piece of mechanical equipment joined firefighters from four separate departments to extinguish the fire and clear the smoke from a large building. The call regarding a water flow alarm was transmitted to the Irmo Fire District at the building in the 100 block of Crews Drive off Bush River around 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. These types of alarms aren’t uncommon and normally indicate that water is flowing through the building’s automatic fire suppression system. This is sometimes a malfunction, but Monday the system was fighting a fire!
Before the first emergency crews arrived, a staff member from the business called and confirmed they had a mechanical fire but thought the automatic system had put it out. When the Irmo crews arrived, the found the building full of smoke. At that time, crews were dispatched from the City of Columbia Fire Department and Lexington County. Once they began looking for the source, they did find a small fire still burning. They quickly extinguished it with water.
Irmo’s fire commander requested Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department respond with their “Super Fan.” This fan, powered by a V-8 motor with a propeller like an airboat, can move a tremendous amount of air for ventilating large buildings. It responded and began clearing the building of smoke. They left the scene at about 4:30 a.m.
Irmo firefighters finished up their work about 5:00 a.m. They turned the building back over to its occupant and returned to their quarters. The battalion chief from the Irmo Fire District said by telephone early that the estimated loss to the equipment would have to be determined by the business.