Beaufort News

Quick-thinking garbage man douses Lady’s Island kitchen fire

Jim Lewis, owner of May River Disposal, was on his route on Lady’s Island on Thursday when he was alerted to a kitchen fire and put out the flames. His truck is shown here in an unddated photo.
Jim Lewis, owner of May River Disposal, was on his route on Lady’s Island on Thursday when he was alerted to a kitchen fire and put out the flames. His truck is shown here in an unddated photo. Submitted

A quick-thinking garbage man extinguished a Lady’s Island kitchen fire Thursday afternoon after being alerted by a boy who ran from the home.

Jim Lewis, owner of May River Disposal, was on his regular route when the boy ran from his home on Sunny Place and yelled that there was a fire.

Lewis grabbed a fire extinguisher from his truck and rushed inside, he said Friday. The stove and the wall behind it were in flames.

“I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, fortunately,” Lewis said. “That fire was getting pretty big, pretty quick.”

Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire District spokesman Capt. Scot Harris confirmed the fire had occurred. Firefighters responded after flames had been put out, and the kitchen was still smoking.

The boy and a friend who lived nearby appeared to have been trying to make popcorn on the stove and were heating oil, Lewis said. Lewis and an employee, Eddie Housey, got the boys away from the house.

Lewis, a Ridgeland resident, said he has been in the garbage business a long time and just started May River Disposal about a year ago. He serves Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and northern Beaufort County and had just started his Lady’s Island route.

This was the first time something like this happened on the job, Lewis said.

“It was a little bizarre,” he said. “We’re just glad nobody was injured, is the main thing.”

Stephen Fastenau: 843-706-8182, @IPBG_Stephen

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