Richbourg: Lesesne Drive fire 'total loss'

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Chief Frances Richbourg said a fire at a home in the 1200 block of Lesesne Drive caused a total loss of the structure and its contents late Sunday afternoon.

Richbourg and fellow firefighters worked the scene of the fire from about 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. No cause is yet known.

"When our first firefighter got on the scene, the fire was already through the roof," Richbourg said. "The set-up of that house had the attic in stages, so it was hard to get headway into it. You had to be in a specific spot. But the fire had burned the roof away when we got there. It had been burning a while before anyone noticed."

Homeowner Wayne Simon, a state constable, was assisting with security at Darlington Speedway when he got the call that his home was on fire. The blaze could be seen from various points of second and third water on Lake Marion.

“A neighbor called and alerted me,” he said. “We had a tankless water heater installed on Tuesday, so I think they may not have connected the gas line back properly.”

Richbourg would not confirm Simon's theory, but said the origin appeared to be in the backside of the home.

"It was in the back bedroom area of the home, we believe," she said. "There was nothing in the home that was not damaged by the soot, smoke or the fire or water used to put it out."

Richbourg said that about $125,000 in total damages were caused by the fire, at the very least.

"I'd say that's a starting figure," she said. "The home was a total loss."

No one was injured in the fire. Simons said he and his wife would stay at another home in Hartsville Sunday night.

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