Blaney Blaze Damages Set At $40,000

BLANEY, June 3 – E. T. Bowen today estimated losses in a fire which destroyed over 100 piles of lumber at the Blaney Lumber company yesterday in the neighborhood of $40,000.

Bowen said that employees of the plant had managed to confine the fire to the lumber, and that the company sawmill and other structures were not damaged. He said that the company has an insurance policy in connection with lumber losses, but that it may not cover the damages.

No Trucks Available

The fire broke out shortly after noon and raged for over two hours before men working with buckets and chemical extinguishers could get out. The Camden fire truck was out of order and was unable to help and an effort to secure a truck from Columbia proved fruitless. Forest rangers from both cities, however, aided in holding the flames at bay. A watch was kept today over a huge sawdust pile nearby, which could burst into delayed flames later.

Heat and sparks from the fire softened the asphalt of United States Highway One nearby and scorched trees on the other side of the road. Traffic was blocked for some time after the tires of some cars had sunk into the melted road surface. Workers were still snuffing out scattered flames caused by the widespread sparks. Bowen said that a watch on the surrounding area would be necessary for some time.

Origin Unknown

The cause of the blaze was not certainly known. Bowen said that it was probably caused either by a spark from the yard’s steam plant, or from a rain passing on the nearby railroad.

Bowen estimated that total lumber lost was in the neighborhood of $40,000 board feet of wholesale lumber. Only the valiant efforts of some 70 voluntary fire fighters saved the plant.

Other officers of the Kershaw county company are John T. Stevens of Kershaw, vice president, R. M. Perry, Kershaw, treasurer.

June 3, 1949  Columbia Record (published as The Columbia Record)  
Columbia, South Carolina
Page 9

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