MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – A North Myrtle Beach firefighter may have to tear down his home after it was heavily flooded after Hurricane Florence, but a restaurant is giving back to him.
Lt. Justin Martin of the North Myrtle Beach Fire Department helped throughout Hurricane Florence last month, where some of the fastest winds hit South Carolina.
“We worked 12-hour shifts, then the other 12 hours, we were made to stay at the station sleeping or recovering,” Martin said.
Martin’s home in Conway only lost a few shingles and a couple trees fell during the storm, but he didn’t stay for long, as the nearby Waccamaw River saw record flooding.
“I got to go home for maybe a day or two and get my stuff situated,” Martin said. “The next time I got to see my house, it was about four feet of water around my property.”
The water kept rising.
Martin says it got above twelve feet, potentially forcing his house to be torn down.
“The structure lifted up and floated in the flood waters, then came back down and not in the same place it used to be,” he said.
So, a friend chipped in: Aaron Hocin, who’s a former police officer in North Myrtle. He now co-owns The Whiskey Fish Tavern in Murrells Inlet, where Martin helped remodel electrical wiring and walls a few years ago.
The restaurant hosted a fundraiser for Martin on Tuesday night.
“I knew he needed help and what a better way than to help him out here at The Whiskey Fish,” said Hocin.
Martin says he’s very appreciative for help he didn’t ask for.
“It’s super amazing to see all my friends, family, relatives, co-workers and even people I’ve never met before come together and put something like this on for me and my girlfriend, who have been displaced for the last month-and-a-half,” he said.
Martin had also finished repairing his home after Hurricane Matthew.
If you’d like to donate to Martin, reach out to The Whiskey Fish on Facebook or stop in the restaurant on U.S. Highway 17 Business.