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County firefighters help with Dorchester fire

Firefighter walks amongst the smoke and puddles of water while fighting fire

Colleton County firefighters helped to contain a huge fire at Argos Cement Plant at 643 Judge Street in Harleyville after a request for mutual aid assistance was called in by Dorchester County fire personnel at 5:48 a.m. on June 25.

 The burning two-story metal building was approximately 100×200 square-feet, and was used to store alternative fuels for the furnaces at the concrete plant. The alternative fuels consisted of shredded tires, plastics and paper.

The Dorchester County Fire Department originally requested three Tenders to assist in the water supply operation. Colleton County Tenders from Canadys, Mt. Carmel Road, and Hampton Street stations along with Car 118 initially responded for the 30 minute trip.  Upon their arrival, the large building was well involved.

At 6:40 a.m., the Incident Commander requested five additional Tenders from Colleton County, and Tenders from the Hendersonville, Cottageville, Ruffin, Whitehall, and Round O Road (under construction) stations responded. The units shuttled water for the firefighting operation throughout the day. The Colleton Tenders joined units from five counties and, at one point, the operation had 35 Tenders shuttling water from several supply points. A pressurized hydrant was also used at the scene that was possibly connected to a private water system.

 On the firefighting side, several Engines, two Ladder trucks, and ground monitors were used to contain the fire and to protect exposures. Eventually a track-hoe was brought in to remove a portion of the building to allow firefighters to get inside to break up the piles of stored materials. Colleton Fire units were released at 4:45 p.m. and returned to the county. Dorchester units remained at the scene throughout the night.