Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – A double wide mobile home caught fire on Laura Brodie Road between Gary Hallman Circle and Two Notch Road Monday morning. It was dispatched just before noon. When the first trucks from the fire service arrived, they reported that about half of the home was already engulfed in flames and deemed it a working fire.
Even though there were several issues that firefighters had to deal with, they handled them well as they normally do. First, there were no fire hydrants close by. A battalion chief told one truck to go to a nearby pond to draw water out to fill tankers. When the truck got close to the pond, they found the road was closed for repairs blocking the pond. The battalion chief already had a Plan B in mind. It involved hauling water in trucks from Rawls' Auto Auction on Pond Branch Road. That's where the closest fire hydrant was. Even though it was a long drive, it was his next best option.
The interior teams were aggressively fighting the fire. It had apparently gotten into a hidden space just below the ridgeline, and firefighters began pulling the ceiling to find it. At one point, a part of the home began to collapse but the safety officer and incident commander had spotted the sagging roof and ordered the men out from under it. No firefighters were injured because of the command system that had that safety officer in place.
Eventually, the fire was knocked down and brought under control. This was approximately 1:30 p.m. and the long fight had drained many of the firefighters. Teams were switched out regularly so none would be overcome. A crew from Lexington County EMS was on scene helping with the rehab process for the firefighters.
The commander requested that the utility company respond to cut power to the home. He also notified the American Red Cross to request assistance for the two adults that were displaced by the fire.
A small crew was still working the last hot spots and picking up their equipment at approximately 2:30 p.m. Most trucks and their crews had begun returning to their stations to clean equipment, reload the trucks, and prepare for whatever comes next. The last truck turned the property back over to its owner and left the scene just before 3:00 p.m.
Lexington County has not released any photos of the burning home or the cause of the fire yet. This incident is still in its early stage. Determining the cause and origin of the fire can wait until the firefighters have recovered and all the trucks are loaded and back in service. The mobile home is being considered a total loss.