Posted: 6:16 a.m. Monday, March 18, 2013

Massive woods fire destroys 119 condos in Myrtle Beach

Fire at apartment building in Myrtle Beach
Fire at apartment building in Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. —

A burning ban is in effect around Myrtle Beach after a woods fire spread and destroyed 119 condos Saturday.

It was one of 30 wildfires in the state over the weekend.

Police are still blocking roads Monday morning in the suburb of Carolina Forest as they work to make sure no one was inside the homes that went up in flames.

A special search team from the state fire marshal’s office will spend days going through the ashes of the Windsor Green condos.

Nine buildings burned to the ground. Many were vacation homes, so they can’t account for every owner.

“You don’t know who is visiting, who is not visiting … who went out of town,” said one Horry County firefighter.

On Sunday, residents got their first look at the damage. 

Tobias Collins barely got his two kids out after he saw the flames in the woods nearby.

“The flames were actually to the roof of that building,” Collins said.

He felt the intense heat as they ran for safety.

“Building is gone, car is gone and important documents are gone … old photos, family photos and video for the past 15 years,” Collins said.

Some of his neighbors lost pets in the fire.  Cynthia and Mary London lost their cat and Mary lost diabetes medication that she must have.

“She hasn’t had it for two days. So, I’m going to see what we can do,” Cynthia said.

They will be able to go to Mary’s doctor on Monday.

They will wake up at a church Monday morning after the emergency shelter closed at the school.  Children will go to the school without any of their things, but the families will get help.

A nearby town filled an ambulance with clothes and supplies.

Meanwhile, investigators think the fire started under power lines near the complex, but they aren’t sure why.

“The conditions were perfect for the perfect storm of sorts,” said Horry County fire spokeswoman Leslie Vancey.

High winds fanned those flames through dry brush and low humidity Saturday.

A change in the weather will be welcomed at Myrtle Beach.

If you would like to help:

The Red Cross is set up to take monetary donations only. You can donate at www.redcross.org, by calling 843-477-0020, or via mail at 3531 Pampas Drive, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577.

For more ways to help, click here.

Sign up for our WSOC-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter

 
 

Top Video