JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The owners of a Johns Island apartment complex are offering a $25,000 reward after a large fire Wednesday night destroyed a portion of the complex under construction.
The flames from the fire at the Twelve Oaks at Fenwick Plantation Apartments Wednesday could be seen for miles across the Lowcountry.
“I’ve never seen anything that big before,” Gwyn Duffee, who lives at Twelve Oaks at Fenwick Plantation, said. “It was huge. The sparks were above the trees. It was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen. It was scary.”
Johns Island neighbors are detailing their first-hand accounts of Wednesday night’s blaze.
“It was a large fire and I think everyone could see it on Johns Island,” Johns Island resident Antwoine Geddis said. “Looked like a big explosion.”
Several people who live in the area say they considered evacuating their homes—afraid the fire might spread.
“We were kind of like, ‘Well, if it spreads to those buildings, we’re going to get out,’” Gwyn Duffee said. “But we had gotten all of our most important stuff and put it in the car just in case.”
Other neighbors jumped in to help put out the flames.
“Me and this one other guy started pulling the hose further into the woods toward the fire,” John Leitte said, “and we just kept pulling and helping them out.”
Many in the area are left wondering how the fire started in the first place.
“It’s really odd how quickly it started,” Duffee said. “It just kind of seemed like it was out of nowhere. So, it’d be interested to know what happened.”
“It looks pretty good so I don’t know how something like that could’ve happened like that,” Geddis said.
The Charleston Fire Department believes the fire was set intentionally, and they’re asking for anyone who was in the area around the time of the fire to send in any photos or videos that may help their investigation.