Old Cottageville school buildings burned | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | February 28, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: February 28, 2018 at 3:29 pm
Fire swept through the old Cottageville school on the morning of Feb. 27.
Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy said the fire call came in about 6:30 a.m.
The first fire unit, arriving from the fire station located about one mile away from the old school complex, found the old gym building engulfed in fire with flames coming through the roof.
The fire quickly spread to the old one-story school. The two buildings were joined with interior doors providing access between the two.
Those flames, McRoy added, quickly made their way into the attic of the school building.
The primary focus of the firefighters’ work became keeping the flames from reaching the nearby buildings that house the town hall, police department and library.
As soon as the first firefighters arrived at the school, they called for a second alarm to bring more crews to the scene.
Eventually the department signaled four alarms. “We have folks here from Islandton and Smoaks,” McRoy said.
Much of the manpower and equipment was needed to establish a tanker shuttle to bring water to the fire.
Initially, the tankers in the shuttle were drawing water from the retention pond at Cottageville Elementary School, but the dry hydrant at the pond became clogged, causing the firefighters to establish two other shuttles — one bringing water to the fire from a hydrant on Industrial Drive, about eight miles away.
“There are fire trucks all over the place,” McRoy said. Roads near the fire scene were blocked to traffic.
Cottageville Police and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office were handling traffic duties.
Power company crews were on the scene and shut down electrical service to the whole area because of the number of downed power lines.
The burned buildings were vacant, and the school building was being used for storage.
“Both buildings are on the ground, there is nothing left of them,” McRoy said.