Cooking fire in West Ashley damages Tony the Peanut Man’s equipment

Tony the Peanut Man, pictured here, had his equipment damaged in a fire Monday night.

A backyard fire in West Ashley this morning damaged equipment Tony the Peanut Man uses in his well-known boiled peanut operation.

Tony, whose real name is Anthony Wright, was cooking peanuts under a tent in the yard of his home at 1305 5th Ave. around 1 a.m. He told police he stepped inside his house for about a half hour and returned to find a large fire had started near some propane tanks, according to an incident report.

Wright, 59, called 911 and Charleston firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze,

Firefighters have not determined what caused the fire, but it did not appear suspicious, police said.

Wright could not be immediately be reached for comment, but he told WCBD-Channel 2 that he lost about $10,000 worth of equipment as the intense fire melted heavy metal pots.

Wright is a Lowcountry icon of sorts, hawking his variety of peanuts around town as he sings, dances and does whatever it takes for you to go for his parched, roasted and boiled goobers. He can be seen at all manner of public events, always wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with, what else, a peanut and a sweetgrass hat that has no crown. He’s been a huge fan favorite at RiverDogs games for years.