‘I prayed’: Families evacuated in Loris after large fire damages multiple structures

Grand Strand

LORIS, S.C. (WBTW) — Multiple structures were damaged in a large fire in Loris and nearby homes were evacuated, according to Tony Casey with Horry County Fire Rescue.

Casey previously told News13 five structures were damaged but later said a specific number couldn’t be confirmed at the time. Horry County Fire Rescue has since confirmed two structures were damaged.

The structures damaged were a store and a nearby outbuilding, according to Casey.

The fire was called in the area of Raven Drive and Highway 9 Business, Casey said. No injuries were reported but homes along Flag Patch Road had to be evacuated.

Approximately 40 acres were involved in the fire, and 10 houses were evacuated out of caution, according to HCFR.

One of the families who had to be evacuated said material things can be replaced and everyone’s safety was the most important thing.

“This if my first time ever being in a situation like this,” Andrea Kelly said. “The first thing I did was I prayed. I said ‘Lord, if you let me get through this, I’m good. If I get my kids out, if I get everybody out safely, I’m good.'”

“Nobody’s hurt. A house is a house. You can always get another house. You can always get clothes and material things. I’m just glad we got our health and strength and our lives. That’s all that counts to me right now.”

Casey said lots of smoke was visible in the area and community members are asked to avoid the area.

Casey told News13 at about 6:40 p.m. the fire was mostly under control but for a few hot spots. He said crews were mostly battling the wind. He added the fire jumped over Highway 9 from Goretown Loop briefly.

People who were evacuated were allowed to return home early Thursday, according to Casey.

Casey urged people to use caution when conditions like this exist as it makes fires difficult to put out.

“With the wind whipping like it does, it can actually carry fire great distances, and that’s how it’s so hard to contain,” Casey said.

Horry County and Conway both issued burn bans Wednesday due to the extreme risk of fires.

“I really want to emphasize that people are really careful with their burning right now,” he said. “We do have the burning ban in effect in Horry County, so if people could adhere to everything that says, that would be really good.”

Horry County Fire Rescue, Loris Fire, the South Carolina Forestry Commission, Nakina Fire and Rescue, Tabor City Fire, and other officials were on scene of the fire.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to show that 40 acres were involved, which is lower than the previous estimate given by officials.

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