A Colleton County Firefighter was taken to an area hospital after he was injured while fighting a “suspicious” blaze at a house early Sunday, officials said.
The large fire was discovered around 1:15 am on Sunday near Walterboro after Colleton County Fire officials believe it had been burning for a while.
A liquid petroleum tank exploded in the fire at a large house and was shooting flames at least 20 feet in the air, Colleton County Fire Rescue said.
The fire happened at a house at 461 Three Mile Road, north of Walterboro and fire crews remained on the scene for nearly 6 hours. The explosion alarmed neighbors who called fire officials to the house, which was vacant at the time of the fire.
As several units fought the blaze, one firefighter was on the wood-frame single-story house, when part of it gave way, officials said.
“…a portion of the floor near the front of the building collapsed. One firefighter fell through the floor and landed on the floor joists below receiving injuries,” officials said on their website.
“He was transported by ambulance (Medic 26) to Colleton Medical Center, where he received treatment for broken ribs and other non-life threatening injuries.”
The firefighter, who was not identified, was released from the hospital later Sunday.
The house was a total loss, but firefighters did prevent the flames from spreading to a detached apartment and carport.
The fire was especially difficult to fight because a narrow gate leading to the home prevented fire crews from driving the large trucks close to the house.
“Firefighters deployed two 3 inch lines from Engine 19 through the yard to the building, then gated them down to supply two 1-3/4 handlines each. One crew was dedicated to cool the LP tank, while other firefighters combated the blaze,” officials said.
The large home had been vacant for over a year, but still had power connected.
“The origin of the fire appeared to be suspicious in nature,” officials said.
Colleton Fire Investigators notified the Sheriff’s Office and the SLED Arson Unit. SLED Agents and other investigators remained on the scene throughout Sunday morning.
Anyone with information concerning the incident are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detectives at 843-549-2211,