The flashing lights and wail of fire engines -- like the ones responding to a dryer fire Wednesday -- always put Windsor Green resident Mike Greene on edge.
The dryer fire about noon Wednesday in a second-floor condo unit in Windsor Green was a small one that was quickly extinguished, but the sight of the trucks reminded Greene of the horrific night in 2013 when he watched a raging fire consume much of his complex.
“It was bad. It was nasty... It took out every one of these buildings,” Greene said, pointing to a cluster of condos, a stones-throw away from his front door. “Twenty-four buildings went down within an hour.”
The brush fire on March 16, 2013 — fueled by winds and low humidity — destroyed 26 buildings and killed numerous pets.
“There’s a plaque over there for the dogs and animals that were lost,” Greene said, pointing to a nearby memorial.
No residents were injured or killed in the devastating blaze, but four first responders were taken to hospitals for smoke inhalation that night. Many of the residents were rerouted to a shelter at Ocean Bay Middle School. Some of the ones who stayed as the fire raged around the complex scrambled with buckets of water hoping to keep the fire from their homes.
Greene loaded the bed of his truck that night in case they were told to leave and listened for updates from his neighbor -- a sheriff’s deputy -- who was able to keep track of the firefighting response.
“It’s kind of scary. It freaks us out when we ever see any kind of fire or fire trucks coming in, it gets a little antsy. It’s a little nerve-wracking,” Greene said.
Horry County Fire Rescue was called to Greene’s building at 5020 Windsor Green Way about 12 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters found nothing showing on two sides of the building when they arrived, and discovered the fire had been contained to the dryer, which was removed from the unit.
“It was just a little dryer fire. It was already out before arrival,” said HCFR Battalion Chief Tony Volpe.
It was just a little dryer fire. It was already out before arrival.
Battalion Chief Tony Volpe of Horry County Fire Rescue
A medic was called to the scene to treat a resident for possible smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported, according to HCFR Captain John Fowler.
Greene noted it could have been worse if the fire had continued to burn.
“Within a few minutes I think we would have had a disaster here,” he said, recalling how fast the buildings in the 2013 fire were destroyed.
The blaze three years ago displaced 190 people, but no other damage aside from the smell of smoke filled the second-floor unit Wednesday.
Staff reporter Elizabeth Townsend contributed to this report.