The first week in February was filled with excitement for the volunteers of the Florence Fire Department. The fire squad smothered the flames of a stubborn fire not once, but twice.
The fire was originally reported just after 7 p.m. Jan. 31 but wasn’t officially communicated to an emergency dispatcher until after 3 a.m. on Feb. 1.
According to the Florence fire radio log, someone came over the radio just after 7 p.m. inquiring about a possible fire. An unidentified person responded with the request to be called on their cell phone, but the call was never aired as an emergency transmission.
The call clarified the fire as a brush burn, and another person asked if an ambulance was needed, followed by the voice of a different firefighter, “Are we getting called out?”
Approximately eight hours later, a fire alert call was placed to dispatch.
Florence Mayor Mary Shipman resides just across the street from the smoldering pile, where a familiar schoolhouse once stood.
“There was a little smoke (Sunday) morning, but I don’t think that they’ll have to go out again. I think it’s finally under control now,” Shipman said. “Our chief of police recently told me he accompanied our boys out to a grass fire not too long ago, and stood in awe as he watched them work. I know they’ll get the job done.”