Brush Fire Forces Residents from Their Homes - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/07/06

Brush Fire Forces Residents from Their Homes

A brush fire kept neighbors worried and firefighters busy for hours yesterday, in Walthourville in Liberty County. At this point, firefighters do not know what caused it.

The fire started about 3pm, and burned through about 50 acres along the Liberty-Long County line by 6pm. It started close to Arnold Street in Walthourville. Because of the dense woods and brush around many of the homes in a mobile home park, fire crews had to briefly evacuate residents of about a dozen homes.

"We've evacuated these trailers along here," said Darrell Ballance with the Long County Emergency Management Agency. "Just to get the people out, because we've got the fire burning up and some of the trailers in the back of the trailer park have a lot of debris on top of them."

"I'm scared of fire," said evacuee Johnnie Mae. "I've seen what kind of damage fire can do. And it don't wait on you. It does not wait on you. So I just dropped what I was doing and got my keys and my clothes and got out of there."

Firefighters say conditions are ripe for a blaze. "It could have been a train coming by, it could have thrown a spark, it could have been anything," said Thomas Hines with the Walthourville Fire Department. "It's so dry right now and this is brush fire season. The humidity being low, and it's so dry, all contributing factors to it."

The flames crossed railroad tracks parallel to Highway 84, so crews briefly shut down trains through the area. More than 50 firefighters from a dozen departments worked to fight the fire.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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