‘Large balls of fire’ from propane tanks blamed after blaze damages 8 homes

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 12:01 PM EDT
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GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Propane tanks ignited in the backyard of a Columbia County residence are believed to have led to several units of a multi-family dwelling catching on fire on Tuesday afternoon, a report by a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy states.

The fire was reported around 3:18 p.m. on Aberdeen Circle, a small street with two-story townhomes in the Canterbury Farms subdivision, wedged in an area of Columbia County between Interstate 20 and Grovetown.

While the cause of the fire has not been determined, a deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office reported seeing a wooden fence on fire on the 600 block of Aberdeen Circle that was “too big to contain,” a report from the agency states.

The fire then caused several propane tanks in the back of the residence to ignite and combust into “large balls of fire” that caused neighboring townhomes to catch fire, the deputy described in the report.

The deputy reportedly rushed to alert the residents by knocking on their front doors. Fearing for the safety of residents, he entered two homes to make sure no one was inside, where the deputy found smoke- and flame-filled interiors, according to the report.

No one was home in the residences on fire at the time of the incident but the Sheriff’s Office was able to make contact with those who lived there, the report states.

Eight units were damaged, with most of that damage to one unit, authorities on the scene said. No injuries have been reported but at least four families have been displaced.

A fire report on the incident released by the Columbia County Fire Department on Friday states that both the heat source and the ignition of the fire as undetermined.

It was the CSRA’s second residential fire of the afternoon. Earlier Tuesday, flames burned a shed and mobile home in the 2200 block of Augusta Road in Aiken County.

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