Firefighter not harmed when floor collapses in Litchfield Beach

troot@thesunnews.com, akelley@thesunnews.comMarch 28, 2014 

A fire at a home on S.C. 905 at Secondary Highway 66 and Shell Road. Photos courtesy of Justin Gibbins, an assistant chief with Horry County Fire Rescue.

Two homes burned Friday in separate fires in Horry and Georgetown counties, including one where a floor collapsed while firefighters were inside the home, but no one was injured.

The fires broke out early Friday – between about 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Horry County firefighters were first called about 2:30 a.m. to a home on S.C. 905 at Secondary Highway 66 and Shell Road, said Justin Gibbins, an assistant chief with Horry County Fire Rescue. When crews arrived at the blaze they found flames coming from the home.

S.C. 905 was reduced to one lane between S.C. 66 and Shell Road while crews worked to extinguish the blaze. The cause remains under investigation.

Midway Fire Rescue crews fought a blaze around 4 a.m. at 184 Norris Drive in Litchfield Beach. Firefighters responded after a neighbor called to report smoke inside the home and heavy smoke outside, said Chief Doug Eggiman.

Firefighters found an unoccupied beach home on fire with heavy smoke coming from all sides of it, Eggiman said. He said they entered the home on its second floor – which was the main floor – but got about 10 feet inside when the floor collapsed.

“We were very fortunate the person on the nozzle fell into the collapsed hole, but was caught by the firefighters behind him,” Eggiman said.

After pulling the firefighter out of the hole, crews backed out of the home and focused efforts on the outside of the structure, he said. Within 45 minutes, Eggiman said the blaze was under control, but firefighters remained at the scene overhauling the structure and extinguishing hot spots.

Horry County, Surfside Beach, Murrells Inlet-Garden City, Georgetown County and Georgetown firefighters provided mutual aid.

Eggiman said the fire was deemed accidental and electrical in nature.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381

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