Resident flees fire that destroys house

One person was able to escape a fire that consumed a house Sunday night in West Ashley. The flames started in the home´s garage, where propane was stored, and it spread quickly to the living quarters. The cause of the fire wasn´t immediately determined.( Leroy Burnell/postandcourier.com/4/1/2012 )

A resident was able to escape a fire that consumed his rental house after he heard an explosion Sunday night in West Ashley.

The blaze was reported at 9:53 p.m. at 1950 White Birch Lane, which is in The Meadows at Westborough subdivision just west of Magwood Drive and Ashley River Road.

The flames started in the home’s garage, where propane was stored, and it spread quickly to the living quarters, said Charleston Fire Department spokesman Mark Ruppel.

The 46-year-old resident “stated that he was just sitting in the house, and he heard a boom,” a police report said, “and his house was in flames.”

Firefighters needed about 15 minutes to control the blaze, Ruppel said.

“The fire was pretty significant in the garage,” he said. “It traveled throughout the attic and the roof line to the house.”

The 1,279-square-foot structure was deemed uninhabitable from fire, smoke and water damage.

The man who was inside at the time got out safely, Ruppel said. A 45-year-old roommate had just left the house.

No injuries were reported. The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately determined, but the police said it didn’t appear suspicious.

Firefighters from St. Andrews and James Island helped city crews in battling the blaze.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.

Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.