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Fire destroys two businesses in Elgin

Posted: May 13, 2015 9:08 a.m.
Updated: May 13, 2015 1:00 a.m.

The cause of a fire that destroyed two Elgin businesses Sunday just before noon is being investigated, though arson has been ruled out. Sloan Roofing, owned by the family of Elgin Councilwoman Dana Sloan and Jesus Automotive were destroyed by the four-alarm fire. 

According to Kershaw County Fire Marshall Keith Ray, the call about the fire came in at 11:34 a.m. and the first unit responded to the scene at 11:42 a.m. The Blaney, Lugoff, Doby’s Mill and Pine Grove Fire Departments all came to the scene. The fire

Ray explained that the fire, which is believed to have started in the garage of Jesus Automotive, took much water to get it under control. He noted that the fire had plenty of material to feed on with a total of approximately 18 vehicles getting burned. He also noted that the fire consumed the first building quickly.

“The front of the building had already fallen in by the time the first group got there,” Ray said.

Firefighters also had to focus on protecting the other business along the block where the fire began. 

“We had exposure damage to rear of Branham’s Electric. They put up a water screen to protect it and had minor damage to a warehouse that Branham’s Electric had things stored in.” Ray said.

Lugoff-Fire Department Chief Dennis Ray noted how well the firefighters worked to stop the fire from spreading. 

“The fire was so large that there were numerous buildings that were threatened. The back of Elgin’s House of Pizza and Branham’s Electric building. Our folks played a key  role in protecting those other buildings from also going up in flames. Everyone worked very well together with the other county departments” L-FD Chief Ray said. 

Elgin Mayor Melissa Emmons expressed gratitude to the fire departments who responded to the blaze noting as L-FD Chief Ray did, that the fire would have continued to spread had it not been contained.  

“I have to commend the Kershaw County fire protection services ... their response time was less than 10 minutes. They worked so well together, it could have been a much worse situation because we have so many businesses in that cluster,” Emmons said,

“Had it not been for a quick response and those individuals knowing what they were doing, we could have lost even more.”

Emmons also thanked the Elgin Police Department for directing traffic during the fire.  Two officers, who were off duty at the time, assisted with traffic control.

Emmons plans to recognize the fire deparments and the Elgin Police Department at Elgin Town Council’s June meeting. 

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