Firefighters extinguish massive brush fire on Aiken Bypass

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

A massive brush fire threatened businesses and homes in Aiken County on April 24. It happened around 4:00 p.m. on the Aiken Bypass.

News 12's Diane Cho followed the story all day.

The windy conditions in a thick wooded area gave firefighters some problems battling the blaze.

They needed a bulldozer just to cut their way into the forest.

Firefighters say this was "no ordinary wildfire."

Acres of land were still smoldering more than an hour after the wildfire was contained.

Heavy smoke forced officials to block off the roads on the Aiken Bypass, Highway 118.

And it all started in one backyard.

"They burned their trash earlier today and left the fire unattended, and it spread quickly from their backyard into the neighboring woods," says Sgt. David Turno of Aiken Public Safety.

Whipped by the wind, the fire soon threatened nearby homes and businesses.

Fehren Bach was concerned about her husband's business, just 20 feet away from the nearest flames.

"Employees called me at home and told me they were told to evacuate," she says. "They were in a hurry to get out; they said they looked out and flames coming around trees."

Bach was terrified their family business would go up in flames.

"He's out of town on business and he's going to call me in a few minutes, and I don't want to alarm him so I thought I'd come and check it out."

Dennis Jackson didn't pay much attention to it because he thought it was a neighbor burning trash.

"I didn't think it was that bad until the smoke started swirling," he says.

It took more than 40 firefighters along with bulldozers from the South Carolina State Forestry to finally put it out.

All the teamwork convinced Dennis they'd get the job done.

"I thought about California, 'I hope it stays over there...'" he says. "Then I said, 'Nah...they'll put it out'."

Indeed they did...and fairly quickly.

The fire was extinguished within an hour.

No one was injured and they knocked down the fire before it affected any buildings

However, officials want to remind you that it is illegal to burn household garbage in the state of South Carolina.

They say that's what caused the blaze.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 2689251 - wrdw.com/a?a=2689251