Police officer helps evacuate burning building - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Police officer helps evacuate burning building

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Just after 8 a.m. Sunday, Officer Tim Balch saw smoke coming from an apartment building on Mr. Joe White Avenue.

He immediately called in to dispatch while rushing to the scene. City officials said Officer Balch, an employee with the Myrtle Beach Police Department, was able to knock on doors and windows to alert the people inside.

Neighbors said a young couple was inside; with the help of Officer Balch they got out safely.

According to Lt. Sliker with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue, no one else was inside at the time of the fire. While investigators have determined the fire was accidental, evidence collected on scene leads them to believe a stray firework may have sparked the flames.

The majority of the damage was done to an end unit, but the entire building has been deemed unsafe for the tenants. The Red Cross has set up temporary housing for those people, the property owner said he is now working with a restoration company to get the building back up to code.

During the holiday weekend, MBFR responded to 182 calls. On a typical busy summer day, crews respond to around 50-60 emergency calls a day. On Independence Day along, they responded to 72 calls for emergency service.

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