Colleton Co. firefighter injured while fighting 'suspicious' fire

Colleton Co. firefighter injured while fighting 'suspicious' fire
Photo Source: Colleton Co. Fire-Rescue
Photo Source: Colleton Co. Fire-Rescue

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A firefighter was injured early Sunday morning while trying to contain a suspicious fire that destroyed a home.

Colleton County Fire and Rescue crews responded to a report of an explosion and fire at home on Three Mile Road north of Walterboro Sunday at 1:15 a.m.

Firefighters reported the single story home fully engulfed by fire and the roof completely burned off when they arrived.

Crews had to run hoses to the home because a narrow fence prevented fire trucks from getting onto the property, according to fire officials.

Firefighters say a propane tank was venting behind the home, sending fire 20 feet into the air, and it is believed the tank caused the loud noise that first alerted neighbors to the fire.

One firefighter, who has not been identified, fell through a portion of the floor that gave way and landed on floor joists below. He was transported to Colleton Medical Center where he was treated for non-life threatening.

He was released later in the day and is home recuperating with broken ribs, according to Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy.

Firefighters say a detached apartment, carport and utility room about 30 feet from the burning home was connected to it by a covered walkway. Part of the walkway was badly damaged, but firefighters prevented the flames from reaching the apartment and carport.

Authorities say the home had been vacant for more than a year, but still had power connected.

The origin of the fire appears to have been suspicious in nature, McRoy said.

Colleton Fire investigators notified the Colleton County Sheriff's Office and the SLED Arson Unit.

Anyone with information about the fire should contact Colleton County detectives at (843) 549-2211, Colleton County Fire-Rescue at (843) 539-1960 or the SLED Arson Hotline at (800) 92-ARSON.

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