CLEARWATER, S.C. (WJBF) — A fire is under investigation in Clearwater, South Carolina. One firefighter was injured after battling a blaze on Augusta Road, Monday afternoon. Officials say they believe the fire there was set on purpose.
“The next-door neighbor called me is that the house is on fire,” Midland Valley Fire Department Chief Sean Johnson told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.
You can see the damage from the front of the home but, it’s the top and the rear of the house that tells the story of the major incident happening there. The shed and an attic now have wood blackened and charred by those devastating flames. Broken glass, metal rods, and appliances littered the back yard and the home next door the vinyl is now melted.
There was an explosion before officials arrived on the scene.
“They saw a mattress that was sitting up beside the house and it was on fire and the shed in the backyard was on fire,” Chief Johnson added.
Then a second explosion.
They later found out oxygen tanks were being stored in the area. “We had one firefighter that was pretty close to the explosion when it occurred. He got knocked down. He was transported to the hospital to get checked out,” Chief Johnson shared. That firefighter has since been released.
Firefighters found two points of origin of the fire. That sounded off alarms that it could be suspicious. “We had two different fires going on. Apparently, we’ve had previous problems at that location before,” Chief Johnson said.
The investigation now turned over to the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office to figure out what could have felt this home uninhabitable.
Shawn is told this is not the first time that a fire broke out at that home in the 4000 block of Augusta Road. Officials had to respond there last year for another fire.