Friday, July 1, 2005 at 8:36 am, Colleton County Fire-Rescue responded to a commercial structure fire at 1789 Hampton Street.
The 150' x 50' metal building was occupied by Plantation Marine, a boat sales and service facility.
The owner and his wife were at the location at the time of the fire. The owner stated that he was welding in the shop and notice that his leg was getting hot. Upon removing his welding mask, he discovered the wall was on fire. After unsuccessfully attempting the extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher, 9-1-1 was notified.
Fire-Rescue had units on scene within 6 minutes, to find fire burning through the sides of the structure on both ends of the building.
First arriving firefighters found heavy smoke and fire conditions and requested a second alarm and mutual aid for manpower from the City of Walterboro Fire Department. Crews attempted entry through the front door of the business but had to exit the building due to poor interior conditions.
Outside temperatures where in the high 90s even at 8:30 am, which caused Command Officers to rotate personnel through the attack positions.
Two Medic units were assigned to the call to perform rehab and additional off-duty personnel were called in.
Multiple 1-3/4 handlines and one 2-1/2 handline were used to combat the fire. Personnel on Ladder 1907 ventilated the roof.
Water supply was accomplished with tankers and a dual 1100 foot, 3 inch hose lay to the only hydrant in the area.
The interior walls of the structure were covered with peg board. This, along with the heavy fire load, are believed to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire throughout the building.
Firefighters had the fire under control in about 30 minutes. The final unit cleared the scene 4.5 hours later.
Traffic on Charleston Highway (SC Highway 64) was detoured for five hours.
No injuries were reported during the incident.
Engine 1901, Engine 2401, Tanker 103, Tanker 1202, Tanker 1904, Tanker 2402, Ladder 1907, Medic 27, Medic 1, Rescue 105, Truck 12, Truck 14, Truck 15, Truck 16, Squad 1, City of Walterboro Engine 1 responded.
Captain Ron Waggett served as Incident Commander.