Burning storm debris sparks fire; Aiken Co. home destroyed

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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Jan. 28, 2014

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- There's not much left of the double-wide mobile home at the end of Kathryn Street, located off Wagener Road east of Aiken city limits.

"We came into the call as a working structure fire," says Captain Greg Bailey with the Couchton Volunteer Fire Rescue.

When Bailey pulled up, he found big flames and a dense cloud of black smoke.

"The mobile home was fully involved, plus another building that caught fire, plus it set the brush fire going also," he says.

Firefighter split up. Some attacked the brush fire. Others doused flames that ripped through this home. Bailey says his firefighters had to use 1,200 feet of hose to get to the nearest hydrant.

"We were able to contain it with some help from mutual aid departments of New Holland, Wagener, [Windsor], Montmorenci, and Center," says Bailey.

Despite the thick smoke, the homeowner did get out okay. He tells News 12 he was burning trash and storm debris, went inside for a quick cup of coffee, and when he came back out, the fire was out of control.

"I know that you want to do it to get your place clean, but it's still too dangerous right now," says Bailey of burning.

A South Carolina Forestry Commission tractor helped firefighters contain the brush fire. Forestry law enforcement also responded to investigate.

Meanwhile, Bailey warns others against burning.

"It's still dry, and it's still too windy," he says.

The homeowner does have insurance, and he does have a place to stay. However, all of his clothes and belongings were destroyed.

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