Officials: Massive SC fire may have been set by someone

Officials: Massive SC fire may have been set by someone

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by WCNC.com Staff / The Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 5:47 PM

CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. -- Authorities say a fire that destroyed more than 100 homes in a Myrtle Beach condominium complex was likely set by someone.

Investigators say the area where the fire started was trampled over by dozens of emergency personnel, so they likely will never know if the fire was started by accident, like a discarded cigarette, or intentionally. 

A grass fire grew out of control due to high winds, spreading to an apartment complex, destroying 109 unites in two-dozen buildings in the complex.

At least 26 buildings in the town of Carolina Forest were destroyed, leaving nearly 200 people homeless. Authorities said Monday all 189 residents of the Windsor Green neighborhood are accounted for.

State Forestry Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins says authorities have determined the fire Saturday at Windsor Green in Carolina Forest started near power lines less than 50 feet from the nearest building in the complex. Investigators have not determined what sparked the fire. 

The blaze spread quickly, burning buildings on three different streets to rubble. No deaths or injuries were reported. 

Gov. Nikki Haley toured the damage and talked to residents. She says it was a miracle no one died and praised emergency responders for saving hundreds of other homes. 

Hawkins says the Forestry Commission recommends at least 30 feet of material that won't burn in front of buildings. Many of the condos had grass and pine straw in their yards.

Authorities say dozens of pets died and officials have set aside their remains for their owners. 
 

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