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Three blazes battled: Family pet only casualty in separate fires throughout the day

Three blazes battled: Family pet only casualty in separate fires throughout the day

Firefighters from the city of Charleston and St. Andrews responded to a fire at the Townhouse Village Apartments off Ashley Hall Road on Wednesday.

Other than the sad loss of a family pet, there were no serious injuries in three fires, in Moncks Corner, North Charleston and West Ashley, on Wednesday.

About 4 a.m., Moncks Corner firefighters responded to a car washing business at 475-B E. Main St., said Chief David Miller of the Moncks Corner Fire Department.

When they arrived, firefighters saw flames shooting through the metal roof of a small office building, Miller said.

"It was all the way through the roof," he said. "Not much you can do."

Moncks Corner and Whitesville Rural firefighters had the fire contained within about 20 minutes. The front facade and the roof over the office are all that remain. Three bays that were used to wash cars and tint windows also were destroyed.

The cause appears to be electrical but it remains under investigation, Miller said.

About 11:30 a.m., North Charleston firefighters were called to a single-family home at the corner of Commander Road and Lenape Street.

First arriving units reported seeing smoke, said Bianca Sancic, a spokeswoman for the North Charleston Fire Department.

A woman was standing outside with a toddler, Sancic said. "She said a smoke alarm alerted her to the fire. She got herself and her child outside and then used a neighbor's phone to call for help," Sancic said. "That's exactly what you're supposed to do."

The fire was brought under control within a few minutes. While firefighters were checking the house, they found the family dog had been overcome by smoke. Firefighters tried to administer oxygen but the dog had already died, Sancic said.

A family of seven was left homeless by the blaze and volunteers with the Lowcountry Chapter of the American Red Cross were helping them.

The fire was electrical in origin, Sancic said.

Later Wednesday, fire gutted two stories in a West Ashley apartment off Ashley Hall Road.

Firefighters were dispatched to an apartment at Townhouse Village Apartments just before 1 p.m., said Battalion Chief Joseph Roberts of the Charleston Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived, fire and smoke were coming out of windows on the first and second floors, Roberts said. The apartment is occupied, but no one was home. The fire was quickly brought under control. Firefighters from the St. Andrews and James Island departments provided assistance, he said.

Fire damage was contained to one unit, but several nearby apartments had smoke damage, Roberts said. No one was injured.

A woman who lives in a neighboring apartment was sitting outside with two pet birds, watching as firefighters rolled up their hoses.

Soni Hensen, 63, said she was home sick with a migraine and firefighters knocked on her door and told her to evacuate.

"I said, 'Not without my birds,' so they helped me get my birds out."

Her two birds, Buddy, a 6-year-old half-moon conure, and Cricket, a cockatiel that is nearly 20 years old, were happily chirping in their cages under a shade tree, a good distance from the building that was on fire.

"They're happy now," Hensen said. "They were scared in the beginning."