South Carolina News

Monday, October 19, 2020

Surfside Beach fire chief to retire by year’s end

Surfside Beach Fire Chief Kevin Otte says it’s time to hang up his helmet. The career firefighter will retire before the end of the year. Otte has been employed by the town of Surfside Beach for more than eight years. He retired from the fire service in West Virginia after more than 30 years. He’s been Surfside Beach’s fire chief for about five years. Otte says he has a bucket list of places he’d like to visit, but says those plans will have to be put on hold until after the COVID-19 pandemic. Until then, Otte will help the town search for a replacement before his final day on Dec. 11.
WMBF-TV NBC 32 Myrtle Beach

Red Cross assisting nearly 40 people after West Ashley apartment fire

The Charleston Fire Department (CFD) on Friday responded to a structure fire at an apartment complex in West Ashley that damaged two dozen units. The fire took place at the Colonial Grand at Cypress Cove Apartments at 3590 Mary Ader Avenue, off of Glenn McConnell Parkway. Some flames were still visible when News 2 crews arrived at the scene shortly before midnight. As neighbors gathered to watch CFD douse the flames, volunteers with the SC Red Cross arrived to provide assistance. They distributed comfort kits containing personal-hygiene items, as well as emergency funds for immediate needs to those impacted by the fire. The Red Cross says that at least 40 people were displaced by the fire, however that number may grow. The organization is also “providing virtual mental and spiritual care assistance to anyone that may need it.” They plan to continue assisting with any needs that may arise.
WCBD-TV NBC 2 Charleston

Columbia Fire station 9 gets brand new ladder truck

Some Columbia firefighters have a sweet new ride. Friday afternoon the firefighters at station nine on Devine Street held a push-in ceremony for their brand new ladder truck. Columbia-Richland Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins tells ABC Columbia News having this new piece of equipment for the department is going to be a game changer for years to come. The Department sent out a tweet thanking all of the citizens and city leaders that either took part in the ceremony or made it possible.
WOLO-TV ABC 25 Columbia

Lexington County house fire under investigation

An early morning fire has destroyed half of a home on Bogater Road, off Amicks Ferry Road, near Lake Murray. According to reports, firefighters from Lexington County, Irmo, Columbia, and Little Mountain as well as Lexington County EMS responded to the call at a two-story house fire in the 100 block of Bogator Road early Sunday morning. Heavy smoke and flames coming from the home were observed upon arrival and crews immediately began external fire extinguishing operations. No one was home at the time and no injuries were reported. Attempts to contact the homeowner are ongoing. Due to the home’s proximity to the lake, water shuttle operations were utilized and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Marine Patrol unit brought the fire boat for additional water supply. Officials estimate that 50% of the home received fire damage and are investigating the cause.
WLTX-TV CBS 19 Columbia

Anderson volunteer firefighter celebrates being cancer-free 3 years after diagnosis

An Anderson volunteer firefighter is celebrating being cancer free on the three year mark of her diagnosis. Kim Strickland says, "I remember the day I was diagnosed. I had a fire call an hour within my diagnosis and my roommate looked at me and said do you want to go and I said yes. That’s when I told 20 something men that I had breast cancer and I saw grown men cry on a wreck scene, but from that day forward, October 16, 2017, I will never forget it from that day on, I've never wanted for anything." Three years ago, a fight began that Kim Strickland wasn't sure she would win. She says she's "glad to be alive because this time three years ago I didn’t know if I would be alive." But she is alive and kicking and she credits her survival to an incredible family and tribe supporting her every step of the way. "They pick me up and put me in the cab of the truck before my first call when I was cleared just so that I could go because I couldn’t pull myself up in the trunk so it really showed what kind of family I have even to this day. Three years later, they still support me," Kim says.
WHNS-TV Fox 21 Greenville

Friday, October 16, 2020

Fire sparked at abandoned two-story building in Columbia

A building that was once a nightclub in northwest Columbia caught fire Thursday evening, officials said. The two-story building is on Berryhill Road, which runs parallel to Interstate 26. It’s near the exit for Saint Andrews Road. The property used to be the Pure Ultra Lounge and Gullah Bistro, according to Google maps. Smoke from the building could be seen on a Department of Transportation camera on the interstate around 5:30 p.m. Around 6 p.m., Irmo Fire posted on social media that the fire was under control. No injuries have been reported, officials said. The cause of the fire has not been shared. Irmo Fire, Columbia Fire and Lexington Fire all responded.
WIS-TV NBC 10 Columbia

Horry County 911 plans to start messaging system next month

Starting Nov. 1, Horry County 911 callers might hear a pre-recorded message before actually speaking with a dispatcher. Its purpose is to let people know they’ve reached 911 and not to hang up. The county is adding the messaging system because dispatchers are seeing a lot of callers hang up and call back when they’re not immediately answered. Renee Hardwick, Horry County’s director of 911, said if dispatchers don’t connect with the person after they hang up, dispatchers are supposed to call them, which takes up time and resources. “It will help us to communicate with the community," Hardwick said. "After all, everybody just wants to understand what’s happening and all, so we think it will help our department in reducing the number of callbacks we have to do and let everyone know what’s going on.” Hardwick said Charleston County is also using this system. So far, it’s reduced abandoned calls by 50% for them.
WMBF-TV NBC 32 Myrtle Beach

Laurens County Council Approves EMS Collections Change, Fire Service Grant

Among actions of Laurens County Council this week were approvals of requests from two emergency service departments. Council approved a request from EMS Director Matt Pennington and County Purchasing Supervisor Billy Wilson to hand over collection of delinquent EMS accounts to Security Collection Agency, based in North Carolina. Council also approved a request from County Fire Service Director Greg Lindley, authorizing expenditure of $2,561.00 as a 5% local match for a grant to supply equipment for the Hickory Tavern Volunteer Fire Department. This is an Assistance to Firefighters grant that has been received for $53,800.

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