1911-5 Burned Garage

A garage at a home on Walnut Avenue in Florence that burned on Monday is surrounded by yellow caution tape. [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

FLORENCE — Florence Fire Rescue firefighters faced more than the dangers of flames while extinguishing a garage fire Monday.

They also dealt with exploding ammunition that was stored inside the garage.

Nobody was injured, although firefighters heard the explosions from the ammo at the scene.

Fire Chief Jeff Perkins said the late afternoon fire at the residence in the 500 block of North Walnut Street engulfed a two-story garage adjoining the house.

"Ammo was going off inside the garage," Perkins said.

The chief said he is thankful the owner of the residence alerted police immediately that there was ammunition inside, so firefighters knew of that danger. He recommends everyone doing that in such a situation.

"That would be a great heads-up notice," Perkins said. "It could prevent someone from getting hurt. Someone could easily get hurt when something like that takes place."

He said the same goes for gas cans, propane tanks and equipment such as lawnmowers that contain gas. There have been reports of ammunition or fuel causing explosions during fires, including recent ones across the nation.

A Latimer County, Oklahoma, firefighter was injured Oct. 12 when ammunition inside a burning residence exploded and struck him in the face, according to an Associated Press report.

Flames caused the ammunition to overheat and ignite, according to the report. The firefighter was hospitalized.

In another case, a propane tank and ammunition caused "multiple explosions" as firefighters battled a Columbus, North Carolina, fire on Oct. 21, but nobody was injured, according to reports.

"There are a lot of variables that can take place," Perkins said.

Monday's garage fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived, he said.

"There was some exposure to the main house, but they got that knocked out," the chief said. "It gutted the garage, and the side of house had a little damage from the flames and heat."

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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