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Crews respond to fires in Richmond, Columbia counties

Columbia County deputies responded to a  possible vehicle fire on I-20 Wednesday morning.
Columbia County deputies responded to a possible vehicle fire on I-20 Wednesday morning.(WRDW)
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 7:14 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County deputies responded to a fire call on Interstate 20 Wednesday morning.

Dispatch says just after 7 a.m., deputies were sent to mile marker 179 on the eastbound side of I-20 to help with traffic control. Our News 12 crew on the scene says it was possibly a vehicle fire.

All lanes on I-20 are reopened.

Meanwhile, Augusta fire crews responded to a structure fire on McDade Farm Road in Hephzibah.

Dispatch says the call came in at 6:02 a.m. Wednesday morning. There are no reports of injuries at this time.

We are reaching out to officials for more information about these fires.

This comes just after a fire Tuesday at Azalea Park Apartments that left seven families displaced. There were no injuries reported in that fire, and the cause is under investigation. Several people lost their homes at the complex when a fire broke out at the same complex last month. Although all residents were able to make it out safely, 15 people were displaced.

Also Tuesday, a fire damaged a home on Jerusalem Branch Road in Salley, S.C. The Red Cross is helping five people by providing financial assistance for immediate needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, along with referrals to resources, after the fire Wednesday evening.

Dangerous time of year

Fire officials say this time of the year is one of the most dangerous times of near for residential fires, many of them sparked by efforts to stay warm.

“The No. 1 thing people can do right now is test and make sure they have a working smoke alarm inside their home,” said Augusta Fire Chief/EMA Director Antonio Burden. “There should be an alarm installed in every room where you have a loved one.”

Other safety steps people can take:

  • Make an escape plan and practice it with everyone who lives in the home.
  • If you’re cooking, never leave food unattended.
  • Know how to put out a grease fire if one flares up. A grease fire could be extinguished by sliding a cover over the pot or pan, turning off the heat source, and move the pot or pan away from the heat source with a protective glove.
  • Consider purchasing an ABC fire extinguisher.
  • Do not overload your power outlets. If you use a power strip, make sure there’s a UL-tested label on it.
  • Have your fireplace or wood stove chimney and chimney connectors inspected and cleaned at the start of the heating season.
  • Do not plug heating equipment into extension cords. This can lead to overheating of the cord, damage to the appliance, and increased risk of fire or electric shock.
  • Move anything that can burn (i.e., furniture, bedding, clothing) at least three feet from your heater, fireplace, or wood stove. Fifty-four percent of home heating fire deaths are caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn.
  • Keep your children and pets safely away from your portable or space heater.
  • Turn off your portable or space heater before leaving the room.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.

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