A family of four escaped their apartment on 29th Avenue South in Atlantic Beach before it burned down on Sunday afternoon.
Camille Holmes said she was bartending next door at her mother’s bar when a customer told them that the apartment building where they live was on fire.
“My uncle is handicapped and we actually were able to get him out of there and my sister was in there sleeping and we got here out of there, so thank God for that,” she said. “We lost everything but we can’t replace our family, so at least we’ve got that.”
Holmes said she felt bad for her 2-year-old daughter Farrah.
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“She was standing outside with me and she said, ‘Mom, mom, fire, fire, smoke?’” she said. “Oh I was so sorry. She’s looking and thinking we’re going to go in there and get her stuff and everything’s gone.”
Officials said the fire started at Club Off the Hook off 30th Avenue South, and spread to the apartment complex.
Horry County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Scott Thompson said they were called about 1:30p.m. Sunday.
He said it took the units five minutes to arrive on the scene, and 30 minutes to put out the fire.
“We had a total of 11 fire units respond and two ambulances to take care of the problem,” he said. “No injuries were reported by civilians.”
One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion, officials said.
Thompson said the traffic chutes and blockades that limit access to the beach weren’t problematic.
“We plan for it,” he said. “Fire Rescue, EMS and police sat down together before the thing was designed with the state and the local guys to make sure we had good access in and out with emergency vehicles.”
He said it was the first time in 26 years that there had been a fire on Memorial Day weekend in Atlantic Beach.
Christian Boschult, 843-026-0218, @CBOSCH192