Massive King George Blvd. apartment blaze under investigation - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Investigators look into cause of massive apartment blaze

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The state fire marshal is investigating a massive blaze that destroyed an apartment building Wednesday night in Georgetown.

Half a dozen families have lost their homes and belongings following a massive fire at the Crown Villa apartments on King George Boulevard in Georgetown. 

Firefighters say the blaze had been smoldering in the walls and attic of the apartment building for at least an hour before tenants knew anything was wrong. 

WTOC spoke with the tenant who discovered the fire around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and called 911. He said he had no idea how serious it was until he tried to run back inside to grab some clothes. 

"By the time I got upstairs again, I couldn't see. The smoke was that heavy, it was burning my eyes and I couldn't see. I did manage to find the dresser so I got my car keys off the dresser," said Doug McGarity, discovered and reported fire. 

Multiple fire crews arrived at the scene just as the roof collapsed. It took about 50 firefighters about a half hour just to get the blaze under control. 

Southside Fire Assistant Chief Hugh Futrell said this was a very difficult fire to fight.

"When our guys got on scene, the roof just ignited. Basically it looks like it had been burning for a while in the interior walls and got into the attic," said Futrell.  

"It smoldered and burned for a while and once it got oxygen and found a way to break out, it broke out and ignited all at once," he added.

The Red Cross says six units were destroyed and half a dozen families have been displaced, including six adults and 4 children. Fortunately, no one was injured. Red Cross volunteers provided funds for food, clothing and temporary shelter. 

Rachel Aldinger, owner of Rachel's 1190, said the restaurant, which is located across the street from the apartment complex, will be taking donations for the families displaced by the fire. They will be taking monetary donations, as well as toys, clothing or personal care items. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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