Colleton County, S.C. Fire-Rescue responded to a commercial structure fire at the P and D Grocery Store located in the Smoaks on Dec. 6.
The crew of found heavy fire conditions and the roof at the rear of the building had already collapsed, indicating the fire had been burning for quite some time before it was reported.
Flames were shooting 20 feet into the early morning sky. Firefighters used the deck gun to attempt to knock down the flames and deployed several handlines in the effort. A second-alarm was requested.
Crews used three 1-3/4 handlines, one 2-1/2 handline, a deck gun and the master stream from Ladder 19. Six 3,000 gal. tenders conducted a continuous water shuttle for two-and-half hours to meet the water supply needs of the operation re-filling from a pressurized fire hydrant about p of a mile from the scene.
Initial firefighting efforts were hampered by burglar bars on the windows and doors until crews used power saws to remove them.
Firefighters had the bulk of the fire knocked within 90 minutes, but were on the scene for five hours performing overhaul. Investigators determined th fie started in the mainelectrical panel near the rear of the country store.
Store owners operated a filling station, and served meals. A flea market also was part of the business.
The main building had an addition which served as a warehouse and storage area for the store and the flea market. Firefighters were able to stop the flames from completely destroying the attached warehouse, however that portion of the building suffered heat and smoke damage. Firefighters were also able to save some items from the flea market before being driven out by the fire.
Sheriff’s deputies detoured traffic on US Hwy 21 (Lowcountry Hwy) for several hours during the early morning fire. No injuries were reported.