MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Several Myrtle Beach families are without a home Friday after a fire destroyed four apartment units at the Myrtle Villas apartment complex in the 200 block South Myrtle Street.
Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue said they got a call about a structure fire just before 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon, when they arrived they found the structure engulfed with smoke and flames.
One person was taken to the hospital, according to Lieutenant Christian Sliker with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue.
"Upon arrival one occupant was already outside. He has transported to Grand Strand Medical Center. As of right now, we are currently investigating this fire," Lieutenant Sliker said.
William Walter, a neighbor, said he called 911 when his friend rushed to his door to use his phone.
"He was sleeping and woke up and the house was blazed. He ran out of the house and started knocking on the neighbor's doors to make them aware they needed to get out and go outside because the house or his house was on fire," Walter explained.
Red Cross Volunteers with the Eastern South Carolina Chapter were called to the scene to help those families displaced. Red Cross volunteer Judy Delsignor said they plan to take good care of the families.
"We have a total of 11 clients that were impacted. Three apartments had major damage to them, one I understand is not occupied so that was good news," Delsignor said.
The Red Cross will help those families get back on their feet, with immediate assistance. "We're going to make provisions to have the families stay in hotels, and we'll make all those arrangements for them," Delsignor added. "We will also assist them with providing them with food, and clothing, also doing referrals to some of our partnering agencies, we'll take good care of the families."
"Making sure properly installed and properly working smoke detectors in their house is going to give them those critical extra seconds to get out alive," Lieutenant Sliker explained. "We're hoping everyone in the city has detectors and if not you can call the fire department (843) 918-9221, ask for Lieutenant Sliker, and we'll come and install one in your house if you can't afford it."
Right now, Red Cross volunteers have been busy in Horry County helping families displaced by fires, they say as the weather gets chillier people will try to keep warm but they must also remember to be safe.
"A lot of furnaces and space heaters have not been turned on since last year so they have to be sure they are in a safe area, that they've checked their furnace, checked their heat pumps so they're safe and don't have fires in their homes," Delsignor explained.
Neighbors told WMBF that buildings and material things can be replaced, a life can't.
"Definitely glad everybody got out and everybody's okay," Walter said.