A large Ruffin (SC) home was destroyed in an evening fire Saturday 24-October. At 21:38, off-duty Colleton County (SC) Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief Greene and his family were returning from a church function, driving east on Bells Highway (SC Hwy 64), when Chief Greene saw a large fire across a field located behind the Ruffin Farm Supply. He notified Central Communications over his portable radio and began trying to locate an access to the fire. After a few minutes he determined the home was off the end of Smokey Bear Lane, a private dirt road east of Ruffin Farm Supply. The approximately 3700-square-foot home was fully-involved and the roof had already collapsed. Engine 18 arrived minutes later and deployed a deck gun and multiple 2-1/2 and 1-3/4 handlines in an effort to knock down the fire and protect two exposures, a stable containing horses and a storage building, near the residence.
A second alarm was issued shortly after arrival. A water shuttle operation was established for water supply, using a drop-tank and eight, 3000-gallon tenders. Water was obtained from a pressurized hydrant located at Bells Crossroads about ¾ mile from the scene. Engine 23 was later set up on the “B” side of the building and used its deck gun and one handline. Engine 23 was supplied through 3-inch lines from two tenders. Crews worked for 35 minutes to contain the blaze, hampered by 40-foot sheets of metal roofing which had to be removed to reach the fire underneath.
Units were on the scene for over three hours performing overhaul. The home was a total loss, but no injuries were reported. The fire appears to have started in the area of the clothes dryer. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Engine 10, Engine 18, Engine 15, Engine 23, Tender 4, Tender 7, Tender 15, Tender 17, Tender 18, Tender 23, Tender 26, Tender 27, Medic 13, Medic 18, Medic 26, Battalion 1 and Car 12 responded. Deputy Chief David Greene served as Incident Commander.
Barry W. McRoy, Fire Chief
Colleton County Fire-Rescue