Fire destroys boats, camper at Hunters Gate in Aiken County

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News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- Around lunchtime, firefighters battled an inferno in the Hunters Gate neighborhood outside North Augusta.

"I was actually pretty scared and did not know what to do, because I'd just come from a criminal justice class filling out reports like this," said Dominique Wilner, who lives nearby.

Wilner saw the smoke from the North Augusta fire from Aiken Technical College. Some saw it from even further away. One firefighters said he saw the smoke from Sam's Club in Aiken.

"First arriving unit found several yards involved, as well as several boats and a motorhome," said Captain Alan Kneece with G.V.W. Volunteer Fire Department.

Captain Kneece with says the flames ripped through four different yards. It ate up fences and melted the vinyl siding on one home.

"Being that the fire backed up to two streets, we had an apparatus on both streets, and we attacked the fire from both sides," he said.

Kneece can't yet say what caused the flames, but he does say the fire isn't suspicious. After the flames were out, deputies examined the scene to make sure. Later, an investigator from the Sheriff's Office and a law enforcement supervisor for South Carolina Forestry Commission also examined the scene.

"Next thing you know, all we hear is a big boom and the boat went poof," Wilner said.

Wilner said she's just thankful she still has a home.

"But I also feel bad for my neighbors, because they're not as lucky, and they have all this damage," she said.