Cayce, SC (Paul Kirby) – There was another fire at American Scrap Metal near Cayce Wednesday morning. The fire was in a large pile of debris in the center of the yard. This fire is one of more than five or six in the last several years at that business.
The material that was burning put up a huge column of black smoke that blanketed the area. Although the Cayce Department of Public Safety had the first manpower and equipment on scene, American Scrap is in a donut hole portion of Lexington County. Donut holes are parts of the county that have never annexed into the city. Often, this is to stay in a less regulated area with no business license fees.
When firefighters first arrived, they ordered busy Charleston Highway closed as crews stretched a 5” supply hose from a hydrant on the opposite side of the road from the fire. This stopped traffic for more than half an hour as police officers directed traffic to detour. Firefighters raised aerial trucks above the fire and poured water down until the fire could be brought under control. It was then put out by firefighters using handlines.
In a strange twist, The Lexington Ledger received a call during the fire from someone who identified themself as a staff member at the company. That person said they had prearranged a fire drill with the fire departments prior to the fire Wednesday and the firefighters were there just training. Of course, we called to confirm this story because it seemed unimaginable that the fire department would close that busy highway for training in the middle of a work week. After speaking with Chief Byron Snellgrove, the director of the Cayce Department of Public Safety, he said they were not involved in any training exercise;they were there fighting fire!
The fire was put out and Charleston Highway was back open about an hour after the fire started. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.