HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue is working to find out what caused an overnight fire at United Automotive on the Highway 501 Bypass that caused significant damage.
HCFR said that the first call for the fire came in around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, Deputy Chief Jim Walker said when crews arrived there was very heavy smoke and flames visible.
Around 5 a.m., Walker said that it was going to take a while to get the fire under control because it is a very big structure and the roof had collapsed.
“The cause is still sunder investigation, the crews arrived with heavy smoke showing been working ever since about 3 o’clock,” Walker said. “Any of the cars inside probably have fire damage, outside I haven’t looked at as of yet.”
Highway 501 was shut down in both directions for an extended period of time early Sunday morning so crews could get control of the fire.
WMBF News reporter Audrey Biesk was on scene and said the dealership appears to be severely damaged and that crews were still in the clean up process around 8:30 a.m.
Highway 501 northbound lanes reopened around 5:20 a.m., however, the southbound lanes remained blocked from SC 544 to SC 378 until around 9:30 a.m.
The Conway Fire Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol and Horry County Police were also on scene to assist.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.