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Structure near West Columbia destroyed by fire Saturday morning

West Columbia, SC (Paul Kirby) – A structure was destroyed by fire near the City of West Columbia early Saturday morning. The fire in the 100 block of Pinecrest Drive was reported shortly before 8:00 a.m. Pinecrest Drive is between Methodist Park Road and the Popeye’s Fried Chicken not far from the Augusta Road and I-26 interchange.

Lexington County’s 911 Center began receiving calls about the structure burning between 7:45 and 7:55 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2020. As they dispatched fire equipment from the Lexington County Fire Service and the City of West Columbia Fire Department multiple calls about the fire began coming in. Firefighters on the first due fire engine reported they had a large column of black smoke visible in the air even before they arrived on scene. A crew from Lexington County EMS also responded.

When the first crew of firefighters did arrive from Lexington County, they reported that a structure was fully involved in flames. That crew’s senior member told others enroute that this fight would be defensive only. They would not be able to take the fight to the fire since the structure had burned past the point where it would have been safe to enter.

That crew asked that Dominion Energy dispatch a crew to the scene because they had a charged power line on the ground. Later, they would have to request that their dispatch center call Dominion again and ask them to expedite their workers because the energized line was limiting crucial access to the fire.

Another crew laid a large supply line from the parking lot of the Popeye’s Fried Chicken on Augusta Road to supply the necessary water for the fire fight. At one point, fire commanders considered using another hydrant on the opposite side of Augusta Road but that would have brought traffic to a stop. Commanders decided against that and selected the one on the same side of the highway as the fire.

A duty chief from Lexington County was activated and that officer began to redistribute fire equipment and personnel from other parts of the county. This was done to cover the areas that would have had no protection because fire crews from that region were committed at the Pinecrest fire.

The fire was considered under control and resources began leaving the fire just before 9:00 a.m. A fire marshal that is also a fire investigator was requested and was enroute.

This article was written while the operation was ongoing. We will try and update it is more information becomes available.


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