People living in 16 units displaced after apartment complex fire

Published: Oct. 2, 2019 at 7:42 PM EDT
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GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCSC) - Firefighters say all of the residents of an apartment building that burned Wednesday morning were able to escape without injury.

Firefighters are responding to a fire at Spring Hill Apartments on Swift Boulevard in Goose Creek. Alexis Simmons - Live 5 News is on the scene.

Posted by Live 5 News on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Multiple agencies responded to the two-alarm fire at Spring Hill Apartments on Swift Boulevard in Goose Creek, Berkeley County spokesperson Hannan Moldenhauer said. The fire was reported at 10:15 a.m., she said.

The Red Cross says about 50 people are without a home and they are assisting families.

The Red Cross along with community partners have opened a shelter at Goose Creek Methodist Church on Red Bank Road. They’re also providing comfort kids, financial assistance, food and more for families.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this morning’s massive fire,” said Louise Welch-Williams, the Regional CEO of the Red Cross of South Carolina. “The Red Cross remains committed to helping residents recover from the blaze.”

Firefighters estimated that at least 75 fire personnel worked the incident.

The Goose Creek Rural Fire Department said all of the 16 units in Building H are believed to have suffered some degree of damage, either from fire, water or smoke.

Firefighters have not yet determined a cause of the fire but they say they believe the fire started on the second floor of the building and say that they do not believe the fire was suspicious or intentional.

Witnesses said the fire spread quickly.

“I noticed that section one had huge flames coming out of the front and on the top and it just billowed over to the second one and into the third one and the whole time you could see smoke going all the way across,” Melanie Turner, whose daughter lives in the complex, said.

One firefighter was treated for heat-related injuries but has since returned to duty, firefighters say.

One neighbor, Kenny Krueger, said he knocked on doors to help alert people that the building was on fire and suffered a minor burn to his finger from a window that was hot.

“It’s kind of emotional to everyone around here even if we don’t live there and it’s brought this whole neighborhood together so some good will come out of this,” Krueger said.

He said the fire brought the walls down in the building, but it also broke down barriers between neighbors because everyone came together to help during this time of need.

Another neighbor said a man believed to be a maintenance worker went into the building to rescue a pet cat of one of the residents who was at work at the time of the fire.

At least eight fire departments responded. Those agencies include Goose Creek Rural, Goose Creek City, Hanahan, Joint Base Charleston, C&B Fire, Caromi, Pine Ridge and North Charleston, Moldenhauer said.

Fire crews were working to extinguish any hot spots and were waiting for conditions to improve so they could get inside the building and begin an investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

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