Smoaks man survives after his home explodes


A 76-year-old Smoaks man was severely injured after his home exploded Monday evening Dec. 5.

At 7:59 p.m., 9-1-1 began receiving calls about an explosion near the Johnsville Community north of the town of Smoaks. People as far away as Orangeburg and Round O reported hearing the explosion and Colleton 9-1-1 received over a dozen calls.

The man’s large home was completely destroyed with debris littering and blocking the 1900 block of Community Avenue. The remains of the home were on fire and four vehicles were also damaged.

The house next door was knocked off its foundation. The next door neighbor ran to look for the man, found him walking among the debris and began caring for him. The man received traumatic injuries and burns. “It was by the grace of God he survived,” said Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy.

Fire-Rescue units arrived to find the remains of the home on fire. The area looked similar to a tornado blowing through the area.

Firefighter-paramedics began treating the man at the scene and requested a medical helicopter. CARE Flight responded, but had to cancel due to rain and fog in the area. The man was then transported by ambulance to the Burn Center at MUSC’s Trauma Center in Charleston. Additional firefighter-paramedics were on board to assist with his care during the transport.

Crews on the scene deployed multiple handlines to combat the fires. SCDOT crews also responded to clear the roadway. Sheriff’s deputies and Coastal Electric Power crews were also on scene. Power was reportedly out in some nearby areas.

The explosion is believed to have occurred from a leaking gas line. The man told responders a gas line was leaking in the home and he was in the process of making a repair to the line when the home exploded.