Editorial | Sad day in Georgetown highlights town’s resilience

September 25, 2013 

A family on Broad Street sets out food and drink for the firefighters as a fire on Georgetown's historic Front Street destroys buildings on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan / jblackmon@thesunnews.com

JANET BLACKMON MORGAN — jblackmon@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

  • First responders included:

    Andrews Fire Department

    Conway Fire Department

    Georgetown City Fire and Police departments

    Georgetown County Fire/EMS

    Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office

    Horry County Fire Rescue

    Johnsonville Fire Department

    Midway Fire Rescue

    Myrtle Beach Fire Department

    Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire and Rescue

    North Charleston Fire Department

    North Myrtle Beach Fire Department

    South Lynches Fire Department of Florence County

    Surfside Beach

    U.S. Coast Guard

    Williamsburg County Fire Department

    Source: Georgetown County

While many questions are still to be answered about the blaze that destroyed a major portion of Georgetown’s historic Front Street on Wednesday, one thing is for sure:

The community wasted no time in rallying to respond, once again demonstrating its resilience in the face of disaster.

The fire was first reported at 5:23 a.m. and while it was still raging, Susan Beckman, whose Broad Street home is not far from the fire, had already called Piggly Wiggly seeking food and drinks to offer fire crews, residents and business owners.

“I love this town so much and I love Front Street,” she said. “It was the least I could do.”

And by 1:05 p.m., Georgetown County had sent a news release already highlighting plans to remove debris and updating the status of upcoming annual events.

Thankfully, and perhaps miraculously, no major injuries were reported.

About 100 fire and support crews from nearly a dozen agencies helped battle the fire or offer support, more evidence of the commitment, passion and professionalism of our first-responders.

The American Red Cross and Salvation Army, first-responders of a different sort, offered help to victims and asked for monetary donations if you want to help the victims. Those can be made through their websites at: www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/commands/georgetown

or www.redcross.org.

Our hearts especially go out to the owners of Colonial Florist, Harborwalk Books, Zest, Goudelock & Co., Doodlebug, Boardwalk Market, Buzz’s Roost and Limpin’ Jane’s Restaurant, all of which were considered a total loss.

The Maritime Museum, one of the town’s cultural icons, was damaged by smoke and water.

This is a community that has suffered and come back from economic losses before: Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and the closing and reopening and closing and reopening of the Georgetown steel mill, to name two.

Come October, the annual Wooden Boat Show and the Bridge 2 Bridge Run will go ahead as planned, officials said Wednesday. If you’ve never been, or were wavering on this year’s attendance, mark your calendar to show your support for your neighbors.

Once all the hotspots have been extinguished and investigators and engineers can determine what happened, what can be salvaged and chart a way forward, we are confident the city of Georgetown will once again rise above Wednesday’s adversity.

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