Some Windsor Green residents concerned that buildings lack sprinkler systems

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The cause of Thursday's fire at the Windsor Green condo complex remains under investigation by Horry County Fire Rescue.

This week, many residents are voicing concerns that some of the buildings do not have sprinkler systems.

HCFR officials knew early in the investigation that the building did not have a sprinkler system, because when it was built the fire code didn't require them.

That was nearly 20 years ago and some residents feel a change needs to be made, despite the cost.

"This is the third fire. I would feel a lot safer if we had sprinklers here," said Johnny Beckham.

Beckham moved to Windsor Green in September 2015, two years after a fire destroyed or damaged 26 buildings.

Since then, all have been rebuilt and equipped with sprinkler systems inside and out.

However, the original condos built in the 1990s do not have them.

"To refit these buildings it would cost thousands of dollars. We would be assessed because we own these buildings, so it's a tough decision," said Carol Bloom.

Lt. Jonathan Evans with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue said there are cheaper alternatives available, one of those being a stove top fire stop.

Windsor Green is a fire wise community and has gone to great lengths to prevent major fires like the one in 2013. Residents like Beckham, however, believe sprinklers in every building is the next step.

"They may have to do them in stages, but it would make it feel much more comfortable and safe if we had them in the buildings," said Beckham.

Members of the fire wise board said they do plan on sending out recommendation letters for safety ladders for those who live on the second and third floors.

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