Firefighters distribute smoke alarms in the cold

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Firefighters in Horry County are using the cold weather to their advantage, and using a devastating fire to make an entire community a little safer.

"We had a fire a few nights ago," said HCFR Lt. Brian Van Aernem, "it led us to discover this community didn't have a lot of working smoke detectors."

Firefighters installed smoke alarms all across the Riverbanks Mobile Home Park in Socastee, a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood. Several bilingual firefighters aided in the operation.

The night before, a family had tried to heat their home with a propane burner, a dangerous mistake that Lt. Van Aernem says is common during power outages.

Firefighters say falling branches will continue to be an issue for the next few days, even after the Grand Strand warms up.

"Those trees are damaged, they're broken," says Lt. Van Aernem. "It doesn't take much for them to crack and come down."

Lt. Van Aernem said homeowners need to be aware of what trees may be damaged. If you're planning on burning any yard debris after the cold snap, be sure to call the South Carolina Forestry Commission first before burning.

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