Firefighers worry of collapse in wake of apartment blaze

(Source: Thomas Moore)
(Source: Thomas Moore)

Surfside Beach, SC - SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Firefighters from five companies battled an apartment fire in Surfside Beach Tuesday morning, later worrying about a partial collapse of the charred building.

Smoke plumes in Surfside Beach could be seen for miles Tuesday as firefighters responded to the blaze at the Sea Timbers Apartments in the 400 block of Surfside Drive, across the street from the Surfside Beach Library.

Surfside Beach Fire Chief Robert Packard said crews were called to the blaze around 7:40 a.m., and upon arrival, discovered flames shooting through the roof.

It's the exact scene Shannon Price said she woke up to Tuesday morning.

"Flames [were] everywhere. [It was] chaos," she said.

Packard said the fire started in a storage room containing pool chemicals. Investigators, however, have yet to determine what sparked the flames.

Crews from Surfside Beach, Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet/Garden City and Conway responded the fire, which Packard said was 95 percent contained at 9:30 a.m.

"They were very fast to make sure the apartment didn't have anyone in it. So I have to commend them on that. Good job," Walter Prillaman said, a vacationer who helped get distressed residents out of the burning building.

Packard said crews found some floors collapsed and they are concerned about partial collapse because of water damage and load.

Everyone in the building evacuated safely, and no injuries were reported. The American Red Cross is on site to assist any displaced residents.

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