TIMMONSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – Two firefighters sustained minor injuries in a fire Tuesday morning at the Cartersville Country Winery in Timmonsville, according to Fire Chief Jeff Dennis with the Sardis-Timmonsville Fire Department.
Fire crews responded to the winery, located at 571 Lamar Highway, around 6 a.m., Dennis confirms. The firefighters were injured after several bricks from a partition wall on the second floor collapsed, hitting one firefighter in the shoulder and the other on the helmet.
One of the injured firefighters was taken to urgent care, while the other did not seek treatment.
According to Dennis, an RV in a living/storage area on the grounds of the winery caught fire. As of about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, the fire was out. No civilians were injured.
Fire crews with Darlington County, West Florence, Howe Springs and Olanta assisted.
The three-story building is a wedding event venue and where owner Tom Langston lived on the top floor. Aubrey Totten, with Cartersville Country Winery, said around 4 a.m. Tuesday, Langston smelled something burning. Soon after, he saw flames coming from the RV.
"I mean it's just … it's devastating," Totten said. "It took out all of his living quarters. It took out all of the party area, all the kitchen, all of the area, you know, where we have our events."
Totten said Langston started the winery as a hobby in 2009. This past January, the winery started going into markets.
According to Totten, they worked hard getting the business up and running when the unthinkable happened.
"I mean, we were just fixing to hit our peak season for our grapes growing and it's gorgeous. This is where we have our parties, our events," Totten said.
Totten said people from the community have already started showing their support, something they need the most right now.
"They go above and beyond. We've had businesses already contact us wanting to know what they can do to help, friends and family showing up offering any support," Totten said.
Although half of building was destroyed, Totten said they still have the winery show room and the wine storage. Despite the massive fire, the company is still determined to keep the winery open for business.
"This may slow us down because we're not going to be able to put as much events as we wanted, but we can still put on some. So I mean don't (count) us out on events for this entire year," Totten said.