MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Two Myrtle Beach office buildings were destroyed and another one suffered smoke damage after a three-alarm fire Tuesday night that forced several other businesses to temporarily relocate.
The Myrtle Beach Fire Department said the fire broke out about 8:30 p.m. Firefighters cleared the scene about 11 a.m. Wednesday but returned about 5 in the afternoon to spray potential hot spots and make sure the fire didn’t rekindle.
Tradd Management, which owns the Parkway Office Plaza in the 1100 block of 48th Avenue North, said buildings 1103 and 1105 will have to be torn down and rebuilt. Another one, 1107, has repairable smoke damage, but it remained closed on Wednesday, according to the management company. The other buildings in the complex were unaffected and remained open.
Tradd Management said a total of nine businesses will have to relocate out of the two buildings that are damaged beyond repair.
Steve Clendenin owns Carolina Gold 93.9 FM WMIR Radio on the second floor of building 1105. He was at the station just hours before it went up in flames. He said he was out having dinner when he got an alert on his phone that nothing was going out over the air.
“I figured it was an internet outage, a power outage, or something, and then I get a text from Patt Gwinn who does our afternoon show that the station is on fire,” Clendenin said.
Even while knocked off the air, and without a space for local DJs to broadcast from, Clendenin said the show must go on.
“It’s a total loss in terms of equipment, but we own multiple stations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, so we can kind of string things along and bring down some back up equipment and patch some things to get us back on the air today,” Clendenin said.
Clendenin was one of several business owners back at the scene onWednesday to get a better look at the building and assess the damage. Some owners were able to salvage bits and pieces. Clendenin was not.
“Once I could see the windows were broken out in the studios, I figured it was a total loss, but it was confirmed today that all the equipment, nothing in there is salvageable,” Clendenin said. “We’re completely off the air right now.”
Clendenin said the roof collapsed onto parts of the studio in Tuesday night’s fire.
“Seeing the flames and seeing just the destruction of other businesses, too, has just been a total heartbreak,” Clendenin said. “We’re new to this area. We’re new to this business complex, and just seeing the other businesses displaced it’s been shattering.”
Clendenin said the search for a new broadcast space will start sooner rather than later, adding that the station will “come back bigger and stronger.”
“Every day is a challenge in life,” Clendenin said. “You’ve got to embrace it and do what’s best and rebuild and start over again.”
The Myrtle Beach Fire Department reported no injuries from the fire, and the investigation into what caused the blaze is underway.
Firefighters taped off, and then a restoration company fenced off, parts of the parking lot over concerns that the facade of building 1103 might collapse because there is nothing left to hold it up.
Tradd Management said there is not an exact timeline for when the two buildings will be torn down and rebuilt or when the third will be repaired and reopened.