A Gable area home in eastern Sumter County was destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon in a blaze that could have been much worse.
No one was injured in the fire about a half-mile from Black Church Road which struck the middle home of a series of closely packed residences in an otherwise sparsely populated area.
Initially reported around 2:30 p.m. as a brush fire threatening a residence on Skinner Road, firefighters from three of the Sumter County Fire Department substations close to the rural area in the county’s eastern arm were dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival just minutes after the initial call, however, firefighters found a home engulfed in flames with nearby residences also being threatened, prompting responders to call for reinforcements from the downtown Sumter headquarters station while working to stop the fire themselves.
Because of the quick response by firefighters, none of the other homes, all of which are on the same side of the street next to one another, were damaged. Responders were also able to prevent the blaze from spreading into a heavily wooded area behind the home, which, if it had caught fire, could have easily led to far greater damages to the area, spreading flames into difficult to reach places. A line of charred earth butting against the tree line made it clear just how close this was to happening. Char lines were also seen within feet of some cars and other outdoor structures.
High winds and dry conditions helped spread the fire through the yard and to the home, and deputies with the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office shut down the rural road temporarily to assist firefighters.
A cause for the fire had not been determined as of Saturday afternoon.