The Red Cross is anticipating helping more than 20 people affected by a fire at a Carolina Forest apartment complex.
The fire at The Reserve at Ridgewood Plantation apartments displaced 17 people at the time the 12-unit building caught on fire. More than 50 firefighters responded to the fire shortly before 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Approximately we’re anticipating helping 20 to 23 people so far.
Dennis James, Red Cross
Dennis James of the Red Cross said volunteers were handing out food and water at the scene of the fire. He said the organization has given vouchers to seven different residences, but couldn’t say exactly how many people had been helped so far.
“We have a total of 12 units in the building,” he said. “Since the power was pulled, all units will be affected in this case. Approximately, we’re anticipating helping 20 to 23 people. We’ve opened seven cases so far.”
James said on average, a $200 voucher is given to a family of up to four people to help them pay for housing while they’re displaced.
The organization will stay in touch with people who have gotten vouchers to make sure they get the help they need, James said.
We’re very thankful for that, to have such nice friends.
Dr. Colin Mermey
Dr. Colin Mermey, a chiropractor who works in Florence, was back at the apartment complex Wednesday to look through his apartment and asses the damage.
“Our apartment is the one at the very top,” he said. “It didn’t seem to have as much fire damage, but it got a lot of smoke damage. The whole building is not usable, and people in this building will be displaced for an undetermined amount of time.”
Mermey said that he and his fiance, who also lived in the apartment, were staying with a friend.
I know that a couple people didn’t have the same options, so they’re probably staying for at least a couple nights with the small amount vouchers that were given by the Red Cross, which is good for the time-being.
Dr. Colin Mermey
“We’re very thankful for that, to have such nice friends,” he said. “I know that a couple people didn’t have the same options, so they’re probably staying for at least a couple nights with the small amount vouchers that were given by the Red Cross, which is good for the time being.”
Mermey said the fire has “changed his perspective” on staying at the apartment complex.
“If it’s relatively soon that they can get our apartment back up and running, we might come back,” he said. “But at this point, we have to entertain options of going somewhere else.”
The Red Cross in Myrtle Beach can be reached at 843-477-0020, or at their location at 3531 Pampas Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.
Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian