HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Signs of life before the Windsor Green fire protrude from the rubble, but nearly a week after the fire, people who lost their homes in the blaze are still paying hundreds of dollars to the community Home Owners Association.
"I know it sounds harsh," said HOA president John Gurley. "But if you think about it, we've got an operation to run. We hope it will be money well spent for these people, including me. I'm one of the affected homeowners."
According to the "Master Deed," the document all homeowners agree upon when buying property in Windsor Green, they are still considered homeowners even if their property is damaged or destroyed. All homeowners have to pay an equal fee.
"I'm ok with that," said Lisa Hempelman, a resident who lost her home in the fire. "People who have less means may have an issue with it, but I'm ok with that."
People who live in Windsor Green phase II will continue to pay the original fee of $175-per-month because there was less damage to those homes. Since most of the destruction was in Windsor Green phase I, those homeowners now pay a reduced price of $125 per-month.
Those fees maintain and repair the properties that were not destroyed in the fire, as well as maintain the community grounds. The fees also cover the insurance costs that will pay for the destroyed homes' reconstruction.
"It'll give them a brand new unit," Gurley said. "We hope to be back and better than ever."