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Heat adds to problems at house fire
06.12 fire 2
The fire was intense enough to melt nearby fencing and siding. - photo by Photo by Sandi Van Orden

Effingham County fire investigators are looking into why a Jamestown Road home erupted in flames late Tuesday night in an apparent barbecuing accident.

More than two dozen Effingham Fire and Rescue and Rincon Fire Department firefighters battled the blaze for an hour, which was already well under way by the time they arrived, said Effingham Fire Lt. Walter Wright.

“It was already through the roof when the first vehicles got on the scene,” he said. “It was so far gone when we got there. It had a good head start.”

The late afternoon fire also meant other problems for the firefighters. Temperatures cracked the low to mid 90s Tuesday and two fire fighters had to be treated for heat-related problems.

Wright said that on a scene such as the one Tuesday, where firefighters in full bunker gear are engaged in putting out a fire and the temperatures are high, they will set up a rehab unit. There, firefighters can be pulled off the line and get rehydrated.

“You’re only allowed to do so much. Then, you have to go to the rehab unit,” he said.

That also means there have to be enough firefighters on hand to be able to go after the fire in waves and have other personnel pulled off the line before it gets too dangerous for them.

Crews had to deal with not having enough water to put out the fire Tuesday. A hydrant in the neighborhood supplied enough water for the fire engines, Wright said, but the tankers had to be called in to supply water for the ladder trucks.

The fire began after the homeowner began barbecuing outside, neighbors told Wright. None of the home’s occupants were injured.