This weekend, as Pine-Strawberry residents are slowly moving back into their homes, smoky red sunsets are still the norm. But heavy smoke caught one neighbor’s attention on Ellison in Pine.
“I smelled some kind of smoke in my house and thought that was weird,” neighbor, Jimi Harris Slider said. He walked outside and realized the next-door neighbor’s home was smoldering.
He called the fire department and began adding water.
“I grabbed a hose, busted a window and started hitting it as best I could,” Slider said.
“I was just an early detector,” he added.
With the fire just blocks from Pine Strawberry Fire Department Station #41, firefighters were quickly on scene.
“They came with the big hoses,” Slider said as he stepped away and watched the fire crew do its job.
The house was full of smoke said PSFD Capt. Robert McCormick. The smoke was concentrated in a bedroom, but neither Slider nor firefighters saw flame.
The home sustained serious smoke and water damage, but the firefighters consider it a save, said McCormick as flames did not get into the structure.
“It is an accidental fire,” said Fire Marshal Rick Barnes.
The young mother who lives here left last Friday, June 18, as did most of the community when the Backbone Fire threatened our towns said Slider. She is currently in Greer with family.
“An overheated electrical appliance left under the bed started smoldering and eventually caught the bed on fire,” said Barnes.
“It was really awesome that when we arrived we knew immediately that no one was inside, that greatly enhances our safety,” he said. “That enabled us to go offensive rather than defensive.”
While Slider’s actions may have cooled the room and his quick phone call was the right thing to do, Barnes also cautioned residents to not put themselves at risk.
For example breaking windows can cause flames to ignite with a new source of oxygen and fumes can overtake a person without proper equipment.
In any emergency the first action should be to call 911 said Barnes.
Slider helped, he said, “We are appreciative but we definitely do not encourage people to engage with an active fire.”