Firefighter taken to hospital after White Oak Mountain structure fire

Published 6:30 pm Sunday, April 2, 2023

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Home deemed a total loss after fire Saturday night 


COLUMBUS–On Saturday, April 1, Columbus Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire on White Oak Mountain Rd. Engine 22 arrived on scene at approximately 8:01 p.m.

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White Oak Mountain Rd. and Skyuka Mountain Rd. were closed while firemen worked to put out the fire.


Upon arriving, officials discovered a two-story wood frame house with heavy fire showing from the rear of the structure.


A resident had attempted to put out the flames in an upstairs bedroom using a fire extinguisher before evacuating safely, officials say. No one else was inside the home.


Firefighters ran a hose to the front door for fire suppression and began to search for any signs of life. They attempted to make their way to the second floor as conditions worsened.


“In the blink of an eye, the fire grew tremendously, creating a torch-like effect coming down the stairwell,” said Captain Dylan Priester of Columbus Fire Department. 


High winds caused the fire to grow, forcing firemen to retreat from the structure, and the initial attack line was melted and deemed unusable. This led to additional attack lines being pulled. 


Polk County EMS arrived to evaluate the two firefighters that were forced to retreat from the structure and determined that one of them had suffered possible first degree burns. He was driven to a nearby hospital and was kept overnight as a precaution before being released Sunday morning, according to Priester. 


The fire was fully extinguished around midnight after receiving mutual aid from a number of nearby fire stations and other organizations. The home was deemed a total loss. 


The scene was turned over to the Polk County Fire Marshal’s Office and is currently under investigation. As of press time, the cause of the fire is unknown. 


The agencies that were involved in extinguishing the fire were Columbus Fire Department, Tryon Fire Department, Saluda Fire & Rescue, Mill Spring Fire Department, Green Creek Fire Rescue, Sunny View Fire Department, Gowensville Fire Department, Holly Springs Fire Department, Lake Cunningham Fire Department, Bills Creek Fire Department, Lake Lure Fire Department and Asheville Fire Department.