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‘A sad day for this community:’ Couple dies in massive Pawleys Island house fire

Authorities are investigating a deadly Pawleys Island house fire Thursday morning.
Authorities are investigating a deadly Pawleys Island house fire Thursday morning.(Source: GCSO)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 7:10 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 5:13 PM EST
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PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WMBF) – Authorities are investigating a deadly Pawleys Island house fire Thursday morning.

Midway Fire Rescue crews were called to a blaze involving multiple structures at 157 Windy Lane at around 5:45 a.m., according to Georgetown County officials.

First responders found a fully-involved fire at a three-story home when they arrived at the scene. Officials said a neighboring single-story structure, which was unoccupied, was also on fire.

According to officials, a couple in their 70s died in the fire. Midway Fire Rescue Chief Mark Nugent confirmed to WMBF News shortly before 5 p.m. that both the bodies of both victims were recovered.

“We work hard to prevent things like that,” he said. “Unfortunately some of these things do occur. We’ll continue that hard work. Our folks are okay. We’ve had the fire chaplain here work with the family and work with the folks to make sure everybody is okay.”

Georgetown County Coroner Chase Ridgway also confirmed to WMBF News that remains had been discovered at the scene, but it could be weeks or months before any positive identification is made.

The couple’s daughter and a dog made it out of the home and were not injured, officials said.

Nugent later said smoke detectors in the house helped alert the daughter prior to escaping from the fire. She had thought her parents had already made it outside.

“Their smoke alarms - their alarms were going off. They were up and moving around,” he said. “She went back into her room, and then immediately got out of the building, probably thinking that her parents were already out, and unfortunately, they did not get out of the house.”

In addition to Midway Fire Rescue, Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Rescue, Horry County Fire Rescue, the Georgetown Fire Department, and Georgetown County Fire & EMS responded to the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Midway Fire Rescue, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgetown County Coroner’s Office.

“It’s been 12, 15 years I want to say since a fire fatality,” Nugent said. “It’s a sad day for this community; sad day for our fire department.”

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