An on-duty Myrtle Beach police officer saw heavy smoke coming from an apartment building over the July 4 holiday weekend and sprung into action, evacuating residents.
Now, he is the recipient of the department’s Life Saving Award.
Officer Timothy Balch with the Myrtle Beach Police Department was recognized for his “bravery and commitment to being first in service,” and received the Award after leading two occupants to safety, according to a posting on the department’s Facebook page.
On the morning of July 5, Balch said he saw “heavy black/gray smoke coming from the attic vent area” of the apartment building at 600 Mr. Joe White Ave. and called firefighters, according to a police report. He quickly began evacuating residents in three apartment units while waiting for fire rescue workers to arrive.
MBFR firefighters responded at 8:03 a.m. shortly after getting the call and quickly extinguished the blaze.
Fire department officials later said that the fire was possibly caused by illegal fireworks.