Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – As strong thunderstorms passed over the Chapin area of Lexington County Tuesday afternoon, they started a chain reaction of emergencies that kept the area’s first responders running. In a matter of a few hours, firefighters, EMS personnel, and county sheriff’s deputies answered the calls when two houses were struck by lightning, there was a car accident, and a mobile home was damaged by fire.
The first call was a lightning strike to a home on Lake Estates Drive near the end of the Amick’s Ferry peninsula. That home had light smoke inside when the first truck arrived. The homeowner stated they had seen the smoke just after lightning struck the home.
All Chapin area Lexington County fire stations were dispatched to this call. The Irmo Fire District started toward Chapin adding extra available resources. The battalion chief out of Irmo became the interior commander after Lexington County’s first chief level supervisor arrived. That home received little damage as the firefighters searched for the source of the smoke in a basement area.
Some equipment from that fire was already leaving the scene when the next house fire was reported on Newberg Road off Old Lexington Highway. There too, firefighters found light smoke coming from the garage of the home. Again, the damage was light, and firefighters were able to ensure that there were no hidden embers to rekindle before leaving that scene.
As storms grew stronger, there was a vehicle collision near Chapin and Sid Bickley Roads. Other units were able to respond and assist EMS there as stand-by trucks from the north side of Lake Murray began to arrive in Chapin and fill in stations whose trucks and firefighters were committed.
Within a short period of time, a call was dispatched for a mobile home fire on Dallas Court. This is in the Shady Acres neighborhood off Amick’s Ferry. Fire trucks were made available from all that were already in the area, and they immediately responded. When the first arrived, they did find a fire there in a room inside the home. Fire crews had to pull several lines to fight this blaze.
Lexington County and Irmo crews worked side by side to attack the fire. In a short time, they had it knocked down and moved into a salvage and overhaul phase. This is tedious work for firefighters. They try to salvage the possessions in the home not damaged by the fire and search out every ember to ensure the fire is completely out.
Teams stayed on Dallas Court for several hours finishing up. Eventually, everyone was able to get back to their stations, get dry, and get some rest.
As always, the company of firefighters and the battalion chief from the Irmo Fire District were a huge help. The EMS crews from Lexington County were at all these calls ensuring the health and wellbeing of the fire crews. Deputies from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department also played a key roll controlling traffic so the firefighters could do their work.
There have been no reports of injuries from any of the fires. The amount of damage done to the home on Dallas Court has not been released.