SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An arson investigation team is taking a closer look at what caused a large fire in Spartanburg County. The blaze caused crews to shut down a portion of Highway-56 and sent a firefighter to the hospital.
According to South Spartanburg Fire Department, firefighters were dispatched around 10:40 a.m. to Stewart Road.
Fire crews told 7NEWS the structure was engulfed in flames when they arrived, with thick smoke marking it’s location from miles away. What’s left now is a partially collapsed structure and piles of ash.
On Wednesday, glancing down between the line of trees from Highway-56, it was hard to tell that the area was filled with nearly two-dozen emergency vehicles a day prior.
The South Spartanburg Fire District said a caller first reported it as brush fire on Tuesday. But when crews arrived and went back deeper into the line of trees, they quickly realized they had a much bigger task.
“Our battalion arrived first on the scene and he found out that it was actually not a brush fire and it was a very large warehouse-type building,” said Alex Long, division chief of personnel development at South Spartanburg Fire District.
Long was one of the many people who helped respond to the large structure fire. He said the fire burned down an old potpourri facility that had been abandoned for at least 17 years.
“It was hot,” said Long. “There was a lot of fire because of the square footage of the warehouse-type building.”
“It had been abandoned for quite some time and there had been no power to the structure, so we had called to have it investigated,” Long explained.
On the scene, crews said about 20-25 trucks from surrounding departments responded, some of which were requested from Greenville County to help.
“To build a tactical reserve, to keep us safe, and also to make sure something else doesn’t happen somewhere else in the county, we requested resources from Greenville County,” explained Long. “Fountain Inn, Mauldin, and Simpsonville came to help us out also.”
Long said because of their automatic aid agreement with other departments, they were able to contain the fire and stop it from spreading further.
“Having this mutual agreement is really important because if not, we wouldn’t be able to respond the way that we need to,” said Long. “We work great together. We get together and get the job done.”
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office confirmed an arson unit was called in to investigate. The cause of the fire is still undetermined.
South Spartanburg Fire District said one of the firefighters responding suffered heat-related illness on Tuesday. He has been treated and released from the hospital.
The Lions Gate Manor, a popular wedding venue near the site of the fire, was not damaged. Crews said the fire was contained to the old potpourri facility nearby.