Witnesses blame teens with fireworks for Myrtle Beach Fire - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Officials say mishandled fireworks sparked Myrtle Beach fire

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Myrtle Beach Fire officials are now agreeing with neighbors of a burnt down home, saying the improper handling of fireworks is what caused the blaze.

Myrtle Beach Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Arnel reports Friday, the Long Bay Estates residential fire from Thursday evening was caused by the improper handling or discharging of fire works.

As fire investigators worked to find out what caused the home fire Thursday evening, neighbors reported kids with fireworks were to blame.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at the home near the intersection of Dogwood Drive and South Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach around 4:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon, and were able to control the blaze in about an hour.

Extensive damage to the inside and the outside of the house, as well as a vehicle in the carport, can be seen as a result of the fire.

Myrtle Beach Fire Prevention Officer Christian Sliker said Thursday that investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire and establish an official timeline.

Deborah Traichel, currently staying with her father at a home across the street from the fire, said she and her father witnessed teens at the home lighting fireworks and tossing them off the balcony of the home, which she said started a straw pine fire in front of the house.

Traichel said the fire quickly spread to the other parts of the home, and within half an hour, smoke could be seen billowing out of the building.

"[The teens] were flipping out," Traichel said.  "They were running crazy trying to find the water hose, trying to get buckets from the kitchen to water on it.  But at that point we knew there was no dumping water on it."

Traichel and her father went across the street she said, and assisted the people inside the burning home to escape.

Family members inside the home said they escaped without injury, but chose not to comment on the actual cause of the fire.  A member of the family who chose not to be identified, said they had been renting the home while on vacation from Michigan.

Traichel and neighbors nearby said they are frustrated the teens, according to Traichel, played with fireworks, despite the fact there are three signs within a block of the home warning against firework use in the area.

"An adult should have taken those [fireworks] away from them," Traichel said.  "It's a shame that this is a fire that could have been prevented."

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