Fire Destroys Berkeley County Home on New Year’s Day

January 2, 2018, 10:58 am EST | Share:

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (CAROLINE BALCHUNAS, WTAT-TV) — Keeping warm can be risky this time of year, especially for those who are using at-risk devices like space heaters.

Hours after the stroke of midnight, a home in Cross, SC was up in flames. Video from the scene shows the house engulfed – flames billowing from the inside out.

It startled neighbors who live on Richburg Circle like Larry Yape who says he heard something around 3:00 a.m.

“This morning, we were woke up by two bangs across from where we live over there on Richburg, and I thought it was one of those generators or something blowing up from it being so cold,” he said. “It was one right after the other.”

Shortly after hearing the bang, Yape said he walked outside. Across the street, he saw fire glowing through the trees.

“All of a sudden, the flames started real quick and they went higher than the trees and it just engulfed really quick. All of a sudden I see an ambulance go by, I’m hoping nobody got hurt,” he said.

He says by the time he called 9-1-1, fire crews were already arriving, a relief – worried flames would make its way to his yard.

The house, which sits on gated private property, is surrounded by woods.

“I was going to call my cousin next door. I said ‘do you see what’s going on next door?’ But the fire department got out here really quick and contained it really good.”

The American Red Cross is currently assisting the family during this time.

If you are using a space heater remember to give it space by keeping it at least three feet from anything that can burn.

Be sure to unplug it before you go to sleep and never use an extension cord.