A large fire in Cherry Grove area of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina burned through multiple buildings on the beach Saturday night as Hurricane Matthew roared ashore. The buildings are right on the ocean, so they were under mandatory evacuation orders.
When the initial fire was first reported, the fire department could not respond with fire trucks because of high winds. A battalion chief responded to the scene to ensure that the buildings were evacuated.
The battalion chief also remained on scene until hurricane conditions worsened to the point when hurricane conditions were too dangerous to remain on scene.
Burning embers crossed Ocean Boulevard and landed on other building, which resulted in five multi-story structures burning.
The National Guard used the Guard’s high-water rescue vehicle to transport North Myrtle Beach firefighters with hoses to the fire scene. Firefighters attached hoses directly to fire hydrants and began to get water on the fires. When a second National Guard vehicle became available, it was used to transport additional firefighters to the fire scene.
When winds diminished to safer levels, fire engines and ladder trucks were able to respond to the scene. At one point ladder trucks had to be withdrawn next to the scene when winds picked up again.
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