2 unharmed in Love County house fire

Sierra Rains
Local volunteer firefighters work to completely extinguish a large structure fire at a residence located off of Miner Road in Love County on Sunday. Two men escaped from the home, but their pet dog did not make it out.

A large structure fire demolished a home in Love County over the weekend, but two people who were inside at the time managed to escape.

Criner Hills Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charles Campbell said firefighters were called to the residence, located off of Miner Road, around 10:20 a.m. on Sunday. Two people had reportedly been asleep inside the residence when they were awoken by the sound of fire alarms going off. 

When they got up to see what was happening, they noticed that their microwave appeared to be on fire. Campbell said the two individuals managed to escape from the kitchen without any injuries. 

The residence was reportedly in flames by the time the first firefighter arrived on scene. “It just spread real fast and by the time we got there it was totally engulfed,” Campbell said. 

While the Criner Hills firefighters worked to put the flames out, three other local volunteer departments were called to help assist. Firefighters from Lake Murray Village, Greenville-Overbook and Lone Grove arrived on scene shortly after the initial call. 

Smoke billows from a residence located off of Miner Road in Love County. The fire demolished the residence and killed one pet inside.

“We were on it until after 12:40 p.m. to make sure everything was out,” Campbell said. “The grass is dry right now and if we had left anything sparking it would probably have caught fire today or tomorrow and rekindled, but we made sure it was all out.”

Due to high winds, the fire also scorched a van that had been on the property. “It scorched it real bad too because we couldn’t move it out of the way,” Campbell said. 

Campbell said the fire started in the kitchen and was likely caused by a short in the power supply to the microwave. Not much of the house was left by the time the fire was completely extinguished. 

An estimated $30,000 in damage was done to the house, with an additional $25,000 in damage to contents within the residence. “One of the guys that was living there was renting it,” Campbell said. “They didn’t have renters insurance so they lost everything.”

The number of house fires rises in the winter months each year. While some electrical fires are unpredictable, others can be prevented. Campbell said individuals should keep fire safety in mind when using space heaters or heat lamps. 

Firefighters suggest keeping a three foot space around any heating devices and making sure to plug them directly into the wall, rather than using an extension cord. 

“They’ve got to be real careful about that,” Campbell said. “If someone uses a heat lamp or heat bulb for the dogs to get under at night, they need to watch that also to make sure it’s got a heavy duty cord and make sure it isn’t going to catch on fire.”