Three fires in three days keep firefighters busy

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Three fires in three days kept Beaufort-Port Royal firefighters busy last week, but prompt actions helped minimize damage and avoid injuries to residents or responders, fire officials said today.

“Damage was minimized because of early notification, quick fire department response and the proper firefighting strategies,” Beaufort Fire Chief Sammy Negron said. “We are fortunate to have highly trained and highly capable firefighters. That makes a huge difference.”

In one incident this week, firefighters used the city’s Quick Response Squad to “knock back” a fire through a window, significantly reducing fire damage and the risk to occupants and firefighters, Negron said. Firefighters then used the pumper truck to fight back the fire inside and extinguish it.

“Every fire is different so we have to respond according to the conditions. We’ve had some gusty winds which can make it difficult to contain a fire,” Negron said.

Something that has stayed the same is the statistics on the cause of residential fires. Kitchen fires, electrical fires and improper use of space heaters are always near the top of the list. Local fire investigators couldn’t rule out those causes for each of the three fires this week, Negron said.

Fires occurred:

• Monday, March 24, on Washington Street. There was a fire in the laundry room and firefighters found combustibles stored too close to a gas water heater.

• Tuesday, March 25, on Drayton Drive, firefighters responded to a stovetop fire.

• Wednesday, March 27, a space heater placed too close to combustible materials sparked a fire at Battery Creek Road.

“All three of these fires were unintentional, but preventable,” said Capt. John Robinson, training and education officer for the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department. “None of these structures had working smoke alarms — they were installed but weren’t working or had been disabled. That’s a huge concern. Smoke alarms are one of the best tools to save lives once a fire starts.”

The Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department routinely offers fire safety education to help people protect their homes and businesses from fire. They offer free installation of battery-powered smoke alarms as well as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms specifically designed for the hearing impaired.

For more information contact the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department at 854-525-7055 or City-Fire@cityofbeaufort.org, or on Facebook.