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Two county firefighters start their own remodeling business after becoming fast friends at work

Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Two Lexington County firefighters, Sam Matthews and Trent Campbell, are great friends. The pair met while working for the county's Fire Service at the Corley Mill station. Now, the two have decided to start a business together doing remodeling and home repairs on their days off.

Sam Matthews is the quieter of the pair. From a young age he had worked in construction, framing houses with his father. He became an excellent carpenter and a jack of all trades in the building industry. Together, he and his dad built houses, worked on commercial jobs, and over time, Sam mastered the skills needed to be an expert in construction and craftsmanship.

Sam enjoyed his work but wanted something more. He decided he’d become a volunteer firefighter in his spare time. Almost immediately, he found he loved the excitement of the work and the opportunity to serve his community. Both were a big plus for him and eventually, Sam came to realize that’s what he wanted to do that with his life. He applied for a full-time position with the fire service and was hired to work in Lexington County. As fate would have it, he was assigned to work at the Corley Mill station near I-20 and Sunset Boulevard. He became an engineer, the person who drives and operates the trucks, and loves going to work.

Trent Campbell is a bit more talkative. When he was four, his grandad took him to a fire station in South Carolina's upstate and he was immediately hooked. He knew right then and there, that’s what he’d eventually do for a living when he was older.

As an adult, Trent began doing some home improvement and handyman work himself. He learned the trade quickly but still, he knew firefighting was his destiny. He applied to work for Lexington County twice and was turned away both times. About the time Trent began to believe firefighting just wasn’t his fate, his wife said to him, “Apply just one more time.” He did that and was ecstatic when he got the notification he was waiting for. He was to report to the county’s training facility as a recruit firefighter for Lexington County!

After becoming a firefighter, Trent was eventually assigned to Corley Mill station as well. He met Sam and quickly the pair became good friends. It's not uncommon for co-workers to become friends and firefighters are no exception. After all, they spend a lot of time together at the fire station. Trent and his wife have a 2 year old and Sam has three children ages 14, 9, and 8. When the two men were off-duty, their families got together, their wives eventually became friends, and their children enjoyed each other too. As time went by, their friendship grew and became stronger.

In their down time at the fire station, the pair talked about their off-duty work remodeling homes and doing handyman jobs. It's not uncommon for firefighters to have another profession they work in on their days off. Occasionally they’d help each other on some of those remodel jobs one or the other was involved in. Eventually, the subject of combining their skills and going into business together came up. They talked, looked at things from every angle, discussed it with their wives, and at some point, one asked the other, “What if we really made this into a real thing?” Shortly after that, the decision was made and their partnership was sealed; Black Lab Construction was born.

Trent and Sam launched their company around the 1st of February 2020. Their first jobs were ones that Sam had started and was finishing up. That was followed by jobs obtained by word of mouth referrals. Trent said Wednesday that, “Sam can do almost anything and I’m more a plumbing and handyman guy. We each have our own skillset, and together we compliment each other and make a great team.”

Trent and Sam are known for their hard work, their honesty, and integrity. They’ll return your phone calls, be on time, and leave when the work is done to your satisfaction. When it comes to things they can’t do like air conditioning or electrical jobs, Sam has friends that are tradesmen to cover those needs. Many of these professionals are firefighters too.

If you need some work done to your home, call Black Lab Construction at (803) 600-7457 or (864) 561-8927. They also have a website coming together where you can contact them or learn more about their company and services. You can reach them through this at sam.matthews@blcklabconstructionllc.com. You can also get to that e-mail by clicking on this LINK.

If you need work done around your home, who better to trust that job with than two firefighters, the guys many trust their lives to every day. Sam and Trent would appreciate your trust and your call.

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