Construction workers working on a house in Darlington may have inadvertently set the home ablaze Thursday afternoon after a fire they started to keep warm escaped the deteriorating mortar of the chimney and into the attic.
Just before 1:15 pm on Thursday, emergency responders were dispatched to the 1100 block of Main Street in Darlington for the report of a dwelling fire in a two-story, single family dwelling under renovation.
Two construction workers were inside the home performing renovations and using the fireplace for warmth when a passerby knocked on the door and reported observing fire at the chimney/roof line. The workers observed the fire and later connected a garden hose to the inside of the house and attempted to contain the fire to the attic until the arrival of the fire department.
Twenty-five firefighters from the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company responded to the single-alarm blaze and had it under control within 10 minutes. The fire was contained to the chimney, roof and immediate attic area with heavy water damage to the floors below.
The preliminary cause of the fire was blamed on a crack/deterioration of chimney’s brick mortar.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal estimated the fire caused $20,000 in damage to the structure. A smoke alarm was present and operated. No injuries were reported.