Batesburg-Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – A building that housed an auto paint and body business in Batesburg-Leesville caught fire and burned last night. The fire was located at 214 Hallman Street at one of the building in the rear of Brooks Body Shop.
The call to Lexington County’s 911 Communications Center came in about 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020. They dispatched the Batesburg-Leesville Fire Department and firefighting resources from the Lexington County Fire Service moments later.
In a very short time, one of Batesburg-Leesville’s fire officers arrived on scene. He reported that heavy black smoke and flames were already coming out of the building. He directed the assignments of the responding personnel and fire equipment that were enroute. He quickly spotted an energized electrical line that posed an immediate threat to the firefighters as they began their attack. He also requested Dominion Energy dispatch a team to disconnect the power line moments after he arrived.
As firefighters were battling the fire in the building, an ambulance from the Lexington County EMS stood by. They helped monitor firefighters as they traded from fire attack to rest. Police officers restricted public access to the scene and street filled with fire equipment.
Firefighters tried to stop the fire’s spread as cars in the yard were also being damaged by the flames. Others attacked the main body of fire with hoses positioned by the incident commander. As Lexington County personnel arrived, they joined the attack teams or took up jobs in the command system. Dominion’s crew arrived and they de-energized the electrical service. Firefighters were kept out of the area of the power line for safety reasons until this was done. Once power to the line was cut, crews had better access to the burning building.
It took more than an hour to bring the fire under control. It took firefighters longer to ensure it was completely out. The building that was burning was destroyed by the fire. Some cars parked in the yard were also damaged by the heat.
As of early Tuesday morning, the cause of the fire and an estimated monetary loss to the business had not been released.