Ice storm debris fire turns into bigger blaze than expected

News 12 at 11 / Monday, March 31, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- A man trying to burn some ice storm debris starts a bigger blaze than he hoped for. In a matter of minutes 3 acres of land and 3 mobile homes went up in flames.

News 12 was the first on the scene and talked to one man who tried to put out the fire before help got there.

Crews battled flames as they tried to save what's left of 3 empty mobile homes that caught fire on Emma Lane.

"It was no way we could get back there, it was too hot," Rico Jackson told News 12.

Jackson was just feet away when 3 acres of his North Augusta neighborhood erupted in flames.

"It was actually pretty ugly. It was a lot of fire and a lot of smoke," said Chris Alverson is with the Graniteville Volunteer Fire Department.

He says the fire actually started in a small pit.

"A lot of people are cleaning up storm damage and debris. The best way to do it is burn it, but we need to be selective in the burning process," he told News 12.

Alverson said the man trying to get rid of the leftover limbs did not have a permit, even though South Carolina requires one and the permit is only a phone call away.

"Call that 1-800 number. Let them know that you are burning and they will update you on whether the conditions are good or not good to burn," Alverson told News 12.

Thirty six firefighters from Langley, Graniteville, North Augusta, and Belvedere battled the fire for almost two hours as it tore through three empty mobile homes and two storage units.

"It's a 100 percent contained and all the structures have been gone through," Alverson told News 12.

And for people wondering what to do with leftover storm debris---Alverson has a warning...

"Gorgeous day for golf, but not great for burning trash," he said.

Neighbors say they survived a close call on a sunny day.

"Yeah... real lucky, feel real lucky. Didn't get nobody's home except for the one no one was staying in. That's real good," Jackson said.

If are planning on burning storm debris you've got to follow the law and that means a phone call.

For Georgia call 1-800-652-2876 and South Carolina at 1-800-895-7057

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