Colleton County Fire-Rescue


Stations 3, 7, 18, and 23 responded to a well involved fire at the Emmanuel Church of our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith located at 27771 Lowcountry Highway in the Town of Smoaks. The fire was reported at 0325, Tuesday morning 30-June. Engine 7 arrived to find heavy fire conditions in a 20 x 20 foot addition on the rear of the structure, with heavy smoke conditions in the main building. The original structure was constructed in the 1920’s, serving many different businesses over the past decades. It has been used as a church for nearly 5 years. Crews deployed three 1-3/4 handlines to combat the fire. They were able to knock down the flames in the addition within 15 minutes, but the fire had extended into the rear of the main building and the attic. Interior crews had to pull a great deal of the tongue and grove ceiling to reach the fire in the attic. The sanctuary portion suffered heat, smoke and water damage. The rear addition was completely destroyed. Water supply was handled by a tender shuttle, with truck to truck supply.

The fire appeared to be of suspicious origin. The SLED Arson Unit was contacted. They sent five agents and a canine to investigate the scene. The Sheriff’s Office, ATF and the FBI are also assisting with the investigation due to a church being involved. Fire units were on the scene for five hours, with Fire Investigators remaining throughout the day to assist Law Enforcement.


Engine 7, Engine 18, Tender 3, Tender 7, Tender 18, Tender 23, Squad 23, Medic 18, Battalion 1 and Truck 12 responded. Captain Scott Feather served as Incident Commander.