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Fire destroys rental unit in Surfside Beach

A rental unit at Sea Timbers on Surfside Drive in Surfside Beach was destroyed in a fire this morning.

Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Surfside Beach and Murrells Inlet fire departments responded to the fire just before 8 a.m. today.

When firefighters arrived they found smoke and flames shooting from the roof of the three-story building, said Surfside Beach Fire Chief Robert Packard. Firefighters battled the blaze for about 10 to 15 minutes before the chief removed all firefighters from the structure and they "went defensive on the fire," he said.

No one was injured in the fire but the roof was destroyed and it was unclear how many units in the building were damaged. Fire investigators were at the scene and planned to begin their investigation once the hot spots in the building were controlled.

A family of 11 people from Gastonia, N.C., were staying in the building and they were able to get out safely, Packard said. Fire crews are expected to be at the scene for much of the day.

Surfside Drive in front of the Horry County Library is closed because the building is located across the street. Traffic in the area is being diverted until fire crews clear the scene.