'The Peanut Man' boils peanuts, starts fire

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - A well-known peanut vendor in the Charleston area is facing a rebuilding project after an early-morning fire destroyed much of his backyard operation.

The fire started around 1:45 a.m. Tuesday morning at a home near the intersection of Diana Street and 5th Avenue.  It is the home of Anthony Wright, better known as "Tony the Peanut Man."

According to the Charleston Police Department, Wright said he was cooking peanuts under a tent in his backyard and then went back inside of his house for about half an hour.

Wright said when came back outside, he saw a large fire that had started under the tent where he was cooking. According to Wright, he didn't attempt to put the fire out because of the size of the fire and propane tanks that were in the area.

"It is a war zone, it's a peanut war zone," said Wright as he took a reporter on a tour of the damage.

Authorities say Wright then called police. Officials with the fire department say they were unable to determine what started the fire, but did say it did not appear suspicious.

"This is the only thing I have made a living on and thank God for that. So maybe he's got a better plan for me in the future," said Wright. "Who knows, we'll see what happens."

Wright is famous in the Lowcountry for his spirited salesmanship at Charleston RiverDogs games, where he can be found singing, dancing and, of course, selling all different kinds of peanuts.

Luckily, no one was hurt but, Wright certainly has some work to do before the RiverDogs return to the Joe Riley Park on Thursday.

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