GARDEN CITY, S.C. (WBTW) — Crews battling a large fire that destroyed or damaged at least three large homes Friday night in Garden City encountered numerous obstacles as the fire raged in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Firefighters called to the Inlet Harbor community at the end of South Waccamaw Drive were faced “with nearly impassable roads due to washouts, heavy sand deposits, partially submerged vehicles, high winds, and heavy storm debris,” the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire District said Wednesday in a Facebook post.

Authorities have not said how the fire started or provided a dollar amount for the damage, but Sky13 drone images taken after the fire was extinguished showed multiple large homes that were either destroyed or damaged.

At least one of the homes destroyed in the fire was a 7 bed, 6 bath rental house that last year sold for just under $2 million, according to Zillow.

The fire district said crews initially set up a “defensive fire attack” using equipment carried to the scene by two 4×4 pickups, two highwater vehicles and a utility terrain vehicle, or UTV.

“Crews reported the initial structure was fully involved and partially collapsed, and the exposure structure, bravo one, already had smoke coming from the third floor,” the district said. “Due to a damaged water line a distance from the fire, crews had very little water pressure to mount any effective attack to suppress the fire spread.”

The fire district said it got help from Grand Strand Water and Sewer, citing the efforts of one technician who went “above and beyond the call of duty to help restore water and pressure” to crews fighting the fire.

The town of Surfside Beach also provided equipment and manpower to help clear sections of South Waccamaw Drive.

“Those road clearing efforts allowed for the arrival of larger, better-equipped fire apparatus, such as a tanker and a full-sized pumper, to assist in fire suppression measures, ultimately halting the fire spread,” the fire district said.

Horry County Fire Rescue and the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office also helped out with specialty equipment and manpower, the district said.

“It is never easy for our residents or us to lose homes and property due to a fire or natural disaster,” Fire Chief J.R. Haney said. “Yet, I commend our firefighters for their efforts and would like to recognize our community partners for their dedication to the public’s safety and overall well-being.”

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