(HARTSVILLE) - Six fire departments battled an early morning blaze that destroyed A Hartsville couple's home, cars, possessions and killed their dog, according to the Republic.
The fire was reported at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday at 285 West Harrison St., about a block away from the Hartsville town square, the home of Brian Sears and his wife.
The couple, who had been sleeping, managed to evacuate the burning home safely, but their dog died in the fire, according to Ed Johnson, chief of the Hartsville Volunteer Fire Department.
A Hartsville firefighter who lives about a block away from the Sears' home was the first to respond to the fire and could see from his house that the structure already was fully engulfed in flame, Johnson said.
The fire destroyed the house, two cars and a camper parked in the driveway as well as Sears' workshop which contained a couple of motorcycles.
"It was definitely a total loss," Johnson said.
"They just got out with their clothes on," he said.
Johnson estimated the total damage was at least $200,000 and likely much higher.
The couple is receiving assistance from the American Red Cross and a can has been set out for donations to the family at Hartsville's gas station, Johnson said.
A state fire investigator will try to determine the fire's cause on Monday.
Wind gusts made the fire difficult to contain and at times the flames threatened a neighboring house about 30 feet away.
Johnson said the fire was the largest his department's dealt with in several years.
Hartsville firefighters were assisted by Clay Township, Elizabethtown, Hope, Burney and Letts fire departments.
"I'm sure glad we had a lot of help this morning, without mutual aid it would have been pretty tough," Johnson said.
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