Fire destroys home, owners escape unharmed

akelley@thesunnews.comFebruary 1, 2013 

— A two-story home in Conway was destroyed by a fire Friday night, but the couple who called it home escaped safely with their pets.

Brad Stein said he and his wife, Elwanda, were enjoying the warmth of a fire while sitting on their couch Friday evening.

“We had a nice fire going,” he said. “Saw some flickering, heard some noise. Ran outside and the top of the chimney was on fire.”

Horry County Fire Rescue crews were called about 6:15 p.m. Friday night and arrived about seven minutes later to heavy flames through the roof, said spokeswoman Leslie Yancey.

Stein said he thought he nearly had the fire extinguished with a garden hose before it escalated and flames erupted through the roof.

Their dog along with five cats made it out of the home unscathed. One cat was carried out by a firefighter, Stein said.

“He went through the whole thing asleep on the couch,” he said. “He’s fine. He’s meowing like crazy, but he’s fine.”

The home, which sat a short distance down a dirt driveway near Bridgewater Drive on the 1100 block of S.C. 90, was built by the Stein’s who have been living in Conway for seven years.

“I built the house, myself,” Stein said. “Every board you see every rock you see, I designed it and built it myself.”

The second story appeared to sustain the heaviest damage,

After losing the home, he said they likely won’t be rebuilding and will instead move back to Clearwater, Fl. where other relatives live. Elwanda Stein’s parents live steps away in Conway.

“We moved up here to take care of them and they’re doing real good, but I’m not going to rebuild,” he said. “We’ll get a condo or something near the beach to stay in when they need us.”

For Stein, he said, the worst part is losing heirlooms and family photos.

After dousing the flames, firefighters worked to recover some of the items, carrying out stacks of framed photographs from the first floor.

Fire investigators arrived about 8 p.m. while firefighters continued to extinguish hot spots, Yancey said. The official cause of the fire had not been determined at press time Friday.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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