CHERRY GROVE, SC (WMBF) – After an investigation by the North Myrtle Beach Fire Department, it was determined the large Cherry Grove fire from Oct. 8 was caused by storm surge entering into energized electrical equipment.
According to a news release, electrical arcing caused the first wind-driven fire that then spread to five buildings. All buildings involved, with the exception of 4908 North Ocean Boulevard, were completely burned by the fire.
Sue Handy is a permanent resident in the building next door to the rubble, which likely would have caught fire as well if not for the fire fighters. Handy says she's glad she took the governors advice, and got out when she did.
"I think one of the points about evacuation is that people say oh I don't have to I can ride it out, but when I left here, I never anticipated a fire." said Handy.
"We have pretty significant water damage in the top and bottom units from the hose that saved our home so that's to be expected and then we're going to need an entire new roof just based on the winds that blew off most of our roof."
The City of North Myrtle Beach's assessment determined total damages amount to $6,866,500, which brings the total to over 20 million dollars in damage throughout North Myrtle Beach.