LADSON, SC (WCSC) - North Charleston Fire authorities say the fire at a wood recycling facility in Ladson is out and that fire crews are picking up equipment and returning to their stations.
A vehicle that processes mulch sparked the fire in a large pile of mulch on fire, shutting down a portion of Highway 78 for hours. Authorities say they don't know what caused the vehicle to ignite.
Authorities re-opened the one remaining closed lane of in the 9400 block of Highway 78 in front of Ladson Wood Recycling early Friday morning after firefighters responded to a mulch fire at 1:34 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. However, firefighters from North Charleston, St. John's, Charleston and James Island departments remain on the scene tending to the smoldering mulch and are asking drivers to use caution when traveling through the area.
Firefighters spent hours battling the fire then continuing efforts to make sure the fire did not spread to the tree-line, according to NCFD spokesperson Bianca Bourbeau. They continue to monitor the situation to make sure it does not re-ignite.
The fire is contained to a large pile of mulch but because that mulch is highly flammable, it is difficult to extinguish, requiring firefighters to dismantle the pile in order to fully extinguish the fire, Bourbeau said.
North Charleston Fire officials say four firefighters were treated as precaution for heat related injuries. Each of the four has been released. No other injuries were reported in the fire.
Multiple fire department agencies, including C&B, Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, John's Island, James Island, Whitesville, Caromie, and St. Andrews responded to the scene to assist North Charleston firefighters. Members of Charleston County Rescue, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office and the North Charleston Police Department and Low Country Incident Management Team also responded.
"In all, there were an estimated 150 firefighters and staff rotated through the scene from several agencies," Bourbeau said. About an acre of land was affected by the fire, she said.
Police diverted traffic at Highway 78 and Ancrum Road as firefighters first began According to emergency officials, lanes had to be shut down because of the hose lines and apparatus required to battle the fire.
The American Red Cross also sent volunteers to assist the 100 responders who were battling the blaze. According to Red Cross officials, volunteers provided beverages and food for the emergency responders.