North Myrtle Beach building fire reminds Cherry Grove residents of large 2016 fire


NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Crews spent more than five hours on the scene of a fire that destroyed a building under construction in the Cherry Grove section of the city Thursday.

City fire rescue says it happened on the 5900 block of North Ocean Boulevard and firefighters first responded to the third floor of the four-story building. The fire was under control in a little more than an hour.

No one was injured in the fire.

“A lot of people that were on the beach had to cover their mouths to keep the smoke (away) because it was so intense,” said Becca Teague, who owns a nearby condo with her husband Nelson.

“They cranked up the water and did all they could, but it was so overwhelming that you just couldn’t stop it,” Nelson said.

Chief Garry Spain says it was a tough night for the contractors working on the building.

“They’re very upset and notably so,” said Chief Spain. “They’ve put a lot of work into this building and it’s a total loss.”

While hurricanes and flooding may first come to mind for beachfront property owners, people in Cherry Grove are also aware of what fires can do. Thursday’s fire was about ten blocks away from where flames destroyed six buildings during Hurricane Matthew exactly three years ago on Tuesday. Matthew’s storm surge caused an electrical fire and nearly $7 million of damage.

That fire and how it spread are still on the minds of several people in Cherry Grove.

“The wind jumping from building to building is what your problem is here,” said Nelson Teague. “You could lose neighbors on both sides.”

Chief Spain says he’s happy no breezes fueled Thursday’s fire.

“Being directly on the ocean, we normally have some type of wind and today, it’s a very calm day,” he said. “The weather really played in our favor.”

Investigators will look for the cause of the fire Friday.

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