Officials: Cottageville wildfire caused by out of control debris burn

Fire on Bazzle Road on Thursday. (Picture provided)
Fire on Bazzle Road on Thursday. (Picture provided)
Fire on Bazzle Road on Thursday. (Picture provided)
Fire on Bazzle Road on Thursday. (Picture provided)
Day after the fire in the area of Bazzle Road. (Source: Live 5 News)
Day after the fire in the area of Bazzle Road. (Source: Live 5 News)

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - State forestry officials say a debris burn that got out of control is responsible for a wildfire that burned more than 100 acres in Colleton County Thursday.

The fire on Bazzle Road in Cottageville was one of more than 50 that broke out statewide.

State forestry spokesman Justin Holt says more than 116 acres of woods were blackened by the wildfire on Bazzle Road.

Bob Szepek had a front row seat for the fire.

It crept very close to his home.

"Yeah, right on top of us," Szepek said. "The fire department got here about the same time we realized it was burning back there."

Szepek was worried he might lose his home in the fire.

"We're originally from Mississippi. I lost a home down there in Katrina," Szepek said. "We knew what it's like to have to be prepared for stuff so we just got ready."

State forestry crews brought in bulldozers and other equipment to contain the fire.

In the end, 116.5 acres burned, 12 acres that belong to Szepek.

He's taking it all in stride.

"What happened out here probably not really more than if you did a controlled burn out here just to get rid of the underbrush. They probably did me a favor," Szepek said.

The forestry commission says of the more than 50 wildfires from yesterday, all but two were caused by out of control debris burns.

Officials with Colleton County Fire Rescue released the following information regarding the many fires they responded to on Thursday.

Multiple woods fires kept Colleton and Forestry Commission Firefighters busy most of Thursday 09-March. Fires occurred in several areas of the county burning mostly woods or grass. Many homes and one church were threatened. A storage building at 6495 Rehoboth Road was destroyed when a grass fire burned up to the building. The small building was well involved when firefighters arrived and was destroyed. The largest fire occurred in the 1100 block of Bazzle Road north of Cottageville and involved 115 acres. Fire-Rescue had four Engines, two Tenders and a Brush Truck working the fire, while the Forestry Commission responded with three Tractors. Fire-Rescue units were on the scene for four hours. Forestry units remained with the fire through the evening. Other than the storage building, Firefighters kept the flames from reaching any buildings.

13:37 – 1729 Scuffleton Road – 2 acres

14:13 – 9000 block of ACE Basin Parkway – several acres

14:42 – 117 Jaffey Lane – yard fire

14:45 – 10147 Sidneys Road – 7 acres

15:05 – 15000 Bennetts Point Road – 10 acres

15:10 – 1176 Bazzle Road – 115 acres

15:17 – Green Pond Hwy and Springhill Road – 12 acres

15:59 – 8446 ACE Basin Parkway – 4 acres

16:04 – 6495 Rehoboth Road – 1 acre with a storage building destroyed

19:36 – 10215 Sidneys Road – multi-acre 

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