Departments from thee counties assist at site of challenging Spartansburg lumber yard fire | News |

2022-03-22 06:49:50 By : Ms. Katya Yan

A destructive fire damaged Clear Lake Lumber, in Spartansburg on Friday. The lumber facility burned for more than 12 hours.

A destructive fire damaged Clear Lake Lumber, in Spartansburg on Friday. The lumber facility burned for more than 12 hours.

SPARTANSBURG — It took more than 20 departments from three counties to get a Friday morning fire at Clear Lake Lumber in Spartansburg under control.

At 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning, an emergency call went out that there was a structure fire in Spartansburg. More than 12 hours after the Spartansburg Volunteer Fire Department received the call, crews were still on scene.

Spartansburg Fire Chief Chris Hughes said that the fire started in the boiler room, and quickly spread.

Hughes and his team first got the call from a night watchman at the lumber yard that there was a fire. While heading to the scene, Hughes knew he needed more help, as he could see the header of the fire from five miles away.

“I got on the radios and told everyone to just send me tankers,” said Hughes.

Hughes told The Herald that the fire had reportedly started in the boiler room  then spread to a second building, and tried to ignite a third.

The lumber yard had kilns full of dry wood, which helped the fire grow in size. The building that housed the kiln was deemed a total loss.

Hughes was proud of his men for being able to save the third building that threatened to catch fire multiple times throughout the night. He said nothing would have been possible if not for the help they received.

After Hughes’ call went out, departments from all over the area came out to assist. Hughes said he had a difficult time identifying all the different departments, as there was just so many on scene.

He was radioing for help in Erie, Crawford and Warren counties. Titusville Fire Department responded to the scene with their tower truck.

Hughes was very appreciate of the help his department received. He said that this fire was one of the most challenging his department has had to respond to.

He said the amount of coals from the lumber and the high winds played “a big part in us having some trouble.” Hughes said that coals from the lumber were 10 feet deep and 100 feet long.

It was not just the wind, but also the temperature and precipitation that created challenges. Tankers and pumpers would freeze up, and multiple times different attack engines had to go back to the Spartansburg Volunteer Fire Department to thaw.

With men still on scene as of 3 p.m. on Friday, Hughes said much of the work now is clearing debris and making sure the coals are under control. Hughes wanted to thank all those who came out to help, not only the other fire departments, but also local restaurants who dropped off food.

“These past 12 hours have been extremely challenging, I can’t thank the other departments enough,” he said.

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