Georgetown fire victim tried to put out blaze; escaped wearing nightgown

Georgetown fire victim tried to put out blaze; escaped wearing nightgown

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - A woman who escaped from her apartment during the massive fire on Front Street in Georgetown tried to put the fire out before leaving the building.

"My bucket list was to live here on Front Street, so I did get to fulfill that for a little while," said Kathy McWilliams, who lived above Buzz's Roost bar.

McWilliams thought she would be living for a long time on Front Street.

However, early Wednesday morning, that all changed in a flash.

"I was just laying on my bed. It faced the water and I heard cracklings and popping. I woke up and I just took a double take because it was red in my window," McWilliams said.

That red was fire coming from downstairs at Buzz's Roost.

At first, McWilliams and her roommate had no idea how bad the fire was.

They went downstairs to try to put it out.

"So we thought we can do this, so we're just taking pots and pans, water and everything, try to put on it," said McWilliams." I think the thought of dying wasn't there at that point. It was just adrenalin of let's get this fire out, we can do it."

"I just knew when it started coming towards our living room, the fire, the water didn't do anything."

The women then thought about going back upstairs to try to save their stuff, but firefighters ordered them to leave.

McWilliams went outside, losing everything she owned, except the nightgown she was wearing.

"It's just stuff, but it was my whole life, watching my whole life go up like that was unbelievable," she said.

McWilliams is thankful to be alive and she's confident the buildings leveled on front street will rise again and she will get to live there again.

"I hope I can come back."

McWilliams suffered smoke inhalation from the fire and says her roommate's feet were burned.

Wildfish Grill on Front Street will hold a fundraiser Saturday for the fire victims. There will be free food and drinks for anyone who leaves a donation. The event begins at noon. The restaurant is located at 619 Front Street.

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