Hilton, SC (Paul Kirby) – A house fire in the Hilton area out of Chapin went to a second alarm Friday evening as flames consumed the home near the banks of Lake Murray. The fire was reported around 6:00 p.m. in the 100 block of Sawyers Court near Dominion Energy’s Hilton Public Boat Launch.
All three of Lexington County’s Chapin area stations responded on the first alarm along with stations and supervisors from the Lexington side of the lake. Lexington County EMS also went on the first dispatch.
While enroute to the fire, Lexington County’s battalion chief asked for assistance from the Irmo Fire District and the Columbia/Richland Fire Service. He also eventually asked for help from Newberry County’s Little Mountain station as well. Each sent equipment and manpower.
Heavy flames could be seen coming from the home’s roof upon arrival of Lexington County’s first equipment from their nearby Crossroads Fire Station. At first, an aggressive interior attack was attempted but the sharp-eyed incident commander quickly realized that a portion of the roof was collapsing and ordered all firefighters out of the home.
A second alarm was struck to bring more manpower as they transitioned to exterior fire attack operations using Ladder 11 from the Chapin Fire Station to pour water down on the fire from high above it. Eventually, the flames were knocked down and firefighters were able to proceed cautiously back inside of the home to finish extinguishing the fire.
Trucks and manpower were moved from other Lexington County stations south of Lake Murray to Chapin. Other coverage resources came from the Irmo Fire District, Richland County, and Newberry County to cover the empty Chapin stations who were committed to the fire. These departments are invaluable to the Chapin stations that are cut off from the remainder of Lexington County by the lake.
Because of the loss of the home, three residents were displaced. No injuries were reported. The home suffered a total estimated damage of $225,000 and is determined to be a total loss. The American Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.
An investigation into the cause and origin of the fire is underway.