Daily Incident Log – 10/29/2019

North Carolina and South Carolina Fire Incidents

CarolinaFireJournal -

10/28/2019 -

20 evacuated after fire rips through Durham apartment, officials say; 1 injured 

Durham fire officials are investigating what started a fire the caused 20 people to be evacuated from a building at an apartment complex Sunday night. The Durham Fire Department was dispatched a structure fire call in the 4500-block of Emerald Forest Drive at 10:45 p.m. The first arriving units located a three-story apartment building with smoke showing from the second floor. Fire crews began investigating and were able to locate an active fire inside one of the apartments on the second floor. According to officials, fire damage was contained to one apartment but smoke and water damage were found in multiple other apartments in the building. A total of 18 apartments and 20 residents were evacuated due to the fire, officials said. Once the fire was put out, all but four apartments were able to be occupied again. One person was taken to Duke University Medical Center for evaluation.  



Durham fire crews set Central apartments ablaze for training 

There's smoke billowing out of the Central Campus apartment building. A fireman pulls a ladder from an engine truck, and others file into the smoky black hole of what once was a Duke undergraduate's front door. Firefighters in full gear climbed the stairs of the building as others mounted a ladder onto the roof, sawing a hole through the top of it. After a few minutes, the rolling black clouds slow. A voice crackles through a speaker—the exercise is over. Central is burning, but not because of rogue pizza boxes in dryers. The Durham Fire Department is using the shells of the old undergraduate apartments as sites for drills, since the buildings will be demolished anyway. "This is a unique opportunity for us to do several training burns," Durham Fire Chief Willie Hall said in a news release. So Thursday and Friday last week, Durham fire trucks filled the lanes around a Central Campus apartment and watched it burn, as excavators climbed rubble heaps of other apartment buildings in the same block.  


Mount Airy: City donating old fire gear for poor countries 

When local firefighters are called to a blaze, the mission is made safer with the help of personal protective equipment — compared to their counterparts in Central American countries who sometimes wear only street clothes. But those fire personnel of different worlds are being brought together through an international program in which used gear is distributed to places in desperate need of it, an effort that now includes the Mount Airy Fire Department. It is donating seven sets of pants and coats to the Global Gear Initiative, a private non-profit organization based in Greensboro, marking the first time the department has done so, Fire Chief Zane Poindexter said Thursday. He explained that turnout gear used by firefighters — which includes pants, coats, gloves, hoods, helmets and boots — has a shelf life of 10 years when issued, due to restrictions imposed by the National Fire Protection Association.  


Northampton fire displaces six people 

Over 20 firefighters assisted in a residential fire early Friday morning that displaced six people. The Gaston Fire Department was called to James Jones Rd for a fire around 2 a.m. Friday. Upon arrival, fire officials say the home was fully engulfed in flames. According to the fire department, approximately one-third of the home's roof had collapsed. No one was home at the time of the fire. Firefighters say they contained the fire within 10 minutes of arrival. They remained on the scene for over three hours. The home suffered heavy fire and smoke damage. A family of six was displaced by the fire. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.  


Mooresville: Investigators determine subdivision fire intentionally set; seek suspects 

Investigators now suspect a fire that destroyed six homes under construction in a Mooresville subdivision was intentionally set, said Mooresville Rescue Fire Marshal Geoff Woolard. "Based on findings at the scene, along with eyewitness video taken prior to the arrival of the fire departments, investigators from local, state and federal agencies determined the fire which destroyed six homes under construction on Samara Lane was started intentionally and was not an accidental fire," Woolard stated in a news release Friday afternoon. The release stated that a joint investigation was launched by the Mooresville Police Department, Mooresville Fire-Rescue, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal.  


Amid Beaufort County fire dispute, the closest department might not receive the first call 

An ongoing dispute between neighboring fire department jurisdictions in northern Beaufort County could mean that, beginning Friday, the closest firefighters won't always respond first to an emergency. Leaders of the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department and Burton Fire District say their departments are equipped to keep residents adequately safe despite the latest escalation in the spat. The municipalities and Burton Fire District have been at odds for more than 20 years over agreements for service and compensation for properties the municipalities have annexed in the Burton area, an unincorporated community in northern Beaufort County. Under multiple agreements since, Beaufort and Port Royal have each paid Burton Fire District an annual fee for covering the properties now in city or town limits, based on established formulas. The most recent agreement expired in December 2017.  


1 dead after fire destroys historic mansion owned by SC county leader in Dorchester County 

One person was found dead after a Sunday morning fire destroyed a historic mansion owned by a South Carolina county councilwoman. Crews responded to a fire on Sunday around 5:14 a.m. at 6188 Badham Drive, which was the home of Dorchester County Councilwoman Harriet Holman and her family. More than 50 first responders from Dorchester County Fire Rescue, the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office, Dorchester County EMS, and the St. George Police Department responded. Officials say that Holman, her husband Herman, and two family members were home at the time of the fire. One person died, but the identity and cause of death are unknown at this time. Harriet Holman was transported to Trident Hospital for minor injuries. No other injuries were reported. Officials say the Historic Badham House is a complete loss. The home, built in 1906, was 10,000 square feet and is on a 40-acre lot.  


Emergency crews respond to fire in Charleston 

The Charleston Fire Department and emergency crews from surrounding areas responded to a house fire Saturday morning. Charleston County Dispatch received the initial call reporting a house fire on Formosa Drive at 6:30 a.m. The Charleston, James Island, and Saint Andrews Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS, and Charleston PD responded to the incident. Emergency crews arrived at the scene and reported a "significant volume of fire venting through the roof of the two-story home." Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in less than 30 minutes and verified no one was in the building, according to Charleston Fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Two adults and two children were displaced by the fire but were not home at the time of incident. One firefighter suffered minor burn injuries and was treated and released. No other injuries were reported.  


Berkeley County rated below normal on drought scale 

Berkeley County has been upgraded from Moderate to Incipient on the drought status scale, according to a report by the South Carolina Drought Response Committee. The committee, which is comprised of representatives from multiple state and local agencies, met via conference call Thursday to review the drought status for all counties. The state is separated into four Drought Management Areas (DMA) which follow the state's river basins. After reviewing the drought indices and the drought's impact on all sectors the Committee for each DMA votes on the level of drought (Incipient, Moderate, Severe, Extreme). The committee faced a challenge as it tried to agree on a declaration for each county that takes into consideration multiple factors, including agriculture, forest fire risk, water supply, and water quality. The Committee upgraded the drought from incipient to moderate drought for Beaufort, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dorchester, Florence, Oconee and Pickens counties.  


Fire displaces multiple families at Greenwood apartments 

The smell of burnt wood still hung in the air Saturday morning following a fire at Phoenix Place Apartments. Debris was scattered across the ground in front of Building 1, where firefighters responded to the blaze. A kitchen stove was to blame for the early morning fire on the top floor of the building, according to Greenwood Fire Department Shift Commander Stewart McDonald. A full report had not been filed Saturday, McDonald said. American Red Cross disaster-trained volunteers are assisting several families affected by the fire. The Red Cross said it is helping nine people by providing financial assistance for food, clothing, lodging and other essentials, and comfort kits containing personal hygiene items.  



Courtesy of Daily Dispatch.
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