Charleston, SC (PRESS RELEASE) — The Charleston County Dispatch Center received a 911 call just before 7:30 PM advising of a possible structure fire on Encampment Court. Charleston, James Island, and Saint Andrews Fire Departments, Charleston County EMS, and Charleston PD were dispatched to the scene.
Emergency responders arrived in less than five minutes from the time of dispatch and observed smoke coming from one side of the single-story residential duplex. Firefighters rapidly entered the home and contained and extinguished the fire while searching the property for any occupants. Due the quick actions of the firefighters the damage was contained to one side of the duplex.
Members from the Fire Marshal Division were called to investigate the origin, cause, and circumstances surrounding the incident. The occupant left the home several hours prior to the incident and may have left a portable, electric space heater operating in a bedroom. Another resident heard a noise in the home and upon investigation discovered a fire in the bedroom, attempted to extinguish the fire, and then evacuated the home and called 911. Investigators verified the fire originated in the area of the portable space heater in the bedroom and may have been caused by the heater or a failure of the extension cords powering the heater. No working smoke alarms were observed in the home.
No injuries were reported as a result of this incident. The Red Cross responded to assist two residents displaced from the duplex unit that suffered the fire damage.
The Charleston Fire Department would like to remind citizens:
• Install and maintain working smoke alarms. Contact your local fire department for free smoke alarms and installation.
• Always plug electric space heaters directly into an approved electrical outlet.
• Operate portable space heaters while you are home and in the vicinity of the heater.
• When possible, evacuate the home and then call 911.