Wyndemere Apartments condemned until investigation, rebuilt - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Wyndemere Apartments condemned until investigation and rebuilding concludes

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) -

People who live at the Wyndemere apartments on Hilton Head Island won't be able to return to their homes anytime soon.

Board members say part, if not all, of the apartment building will have to be rebuilt after fire destroyed a number of apartments in one of the complex's buildings this week.

Insurance investigators were out on the property inspecting the damage Friday.

In the meantime, they've posted red fliers to let people know that this building is declared unsafe.

"I had my groceries in my hand, I put my stuff down, went straight to my back door, looked out and just saw the deck, two units down from me, raging blaze," said Braddon Hurt, who is a Wyndemere board member and heads up the complex's maintenance.

His is one of the many families who has been displaced by Wednesday night's fire.

"I arrived home to find the building on fire and I made the 911 call," said Hurt.  

He says the fire stopped right at his bedroom wall but he lost his apartment from all the water damage. The Red Cross is assisting the victims, but now the hard part comes in rebuilding all that was lost.

"You've got 18 families, three days before Christmas, that are basically homeless," he said.  

Hurt says there is no power inside any of the units and the building itself has been condemned until it's been rebuilt up to fire safety code. Insurance investigators were looking at the building this afternoon but there's no indication yet as to what caused the fire.

"There was a grill there, you know, what circumstances surrounded the grill, they'll also look at all the electrical outlets and I believe there was also a water heater in the closet," said Joheida Fister, Hilton Head Fire Marshal.  

The fire department has concluded that there's nothing suspicious about the fire and all agree the fire most likely started in the bottom middle section in the back of the apartments.

"This is one of the larger losses that we've had on Hilton Head Island in the last 10 years."

A structural engineer is expected to come in the next week to survey the damage, but with the holidays, they don't know when that will be.

If you would like to donate to the victims of this fire, visit this link for more information.

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