9 adults, 3 children displaced after North Charleston fire, officials say

The North Charleston Fire Department says Ashley Phosphate Road is partially open as crews remain on scene of a fire involving multiple mobile homes.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2023 at 2:45 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The North Charleston Fire Department provided updated information Wednesday on a fire that damaged several mobile homes and required the temporary closure of a major roadway late Tuesday afternoon.

A total of nine adults and three children have been displaced by the fire, which damaged five homes on Beret Street, Assistant Fire Chief Chris Rainey said. EMS took one North Charleston firefighter to an area hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The fire department responded to a 911 call at 4:48 p.m. The first crews to arrive at the scene reported heavy smoke and flames coming from a single-family home.

“Crews made entry to extinguish the fire,” Rainey said. “Firefighters encountered heavy fire and heat inside the home. All residents had evacuated the home.”

They spotted fire extending to a second home and Rainey said high-wind conditions hampered efforts to put out the fires and caused flames to spread to three additional homes.

“This fire has been a wind-driven fire,” North Charleston Fire Safety Coordinator Laura Kondor said at the scene Tuesday night.

Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to a sixth home, Rainey said.

Kondor said the homes affected by the fire were either a complete loss or partially damaged.

John Marlowe lives across the street from where the fire broke out. He said he was doing yard work when he looked up and saw his neighbor’s home engulfed in flames.

“I was just weed-eating the yard and I looked across the street and saw a bunch of flames coming out of a house,” Marlowe said.

He said he ran over and grabbed a water hose, trying to put out the fire, but there wasn’t enough pressure in the hose to help.

“A bunch of houses went on fire; six houses went down and all of them my friends. All of them are without a home now,” Marlowe said.

Officials with the North Charleston Fire Department said there was not enough water supply in the area to support the amount of fire trucks on scene.

Officials said several power lines were also affected.

The fire forced officials to shut down a portion of Ashley Phosphate Road near the Cathedral of Praise to extend fire hoses for several hours, Rainey said.

Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.