Fire destroys Loris linen cleaner

Loris, SC - LORIS, SC (WMBF) - A shell of a building remains after an early morning fire ripped through a linen cleaning business in Loris Friday.

Carolina Linen Systems, located at 2315 Main St. in Loris, caught fire around 1:30 a.m., according to officials. Firefighters from Horry County, Loris and Tabor City were called to the scene to keep the flames from spreading to nearby buildings and homes.

Firefighters say when they arrived an entire back corner was engulfed in flames. Crews using an aerial truck sprayed water through the roof while firefighters on the ground cut a hole through the wall to help extinguish the fire.

"There's fire throughout the whole building. There's nothing inside that hasn't been burnt that I've seen," said Loris Fire Chief Jerry Hardee. "From all sides of it, as far as you can see from the rear of the building there's fire, and as far as you can see from the front there's fire."

Business owner Perrin Graham says the business, which cleans linens for area hotels, resorts and hospitals, was started by his grandfather 23 years ago and employs 26 people. He doesn't yet know what they are going to do, noting it this was the beginning of their busy season as tourists begin to make their way to the Grand Strand.

No one was inside the business at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported. Graham says the area where the flames appear to have sparked contains no equipment and no electrical except for overhead lighting. He said that area is where they store clean linens, which acted as fuel to the fire.

Carolina Linen Systems has a more than $2 million in machines and inventory that burned, along with everything else in the building, except a collection of documents that were in a fire safe, Graham said. Despite the loss, he said he does plan to rebuild.

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