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      Meeting helps unemployed after Georgetown fire

      File Photo (WCIV)

      GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) -- Help has made it's way to Georgetown for the people who lost their jobs in last week's devastating fire in Georgetown.{}The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce made the announcement on its Facebook page. Wednesday, one week after the fire, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce and SC Works held an employment services meeting for displaced workers. The meeting is happening at the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments at 9:30 and 11 Wednesday morning.

      One of the folks to attend the meeting was Kathy McWilliams. She was an independent film maker, caterer and artist until she lost her home and all of her equipment in the fire.{}

      "I opened my eyes and I saw red in the window." said McWilliams, as she recalled the morning her apartment caught fire. "I just jumped out of bed and I started screaming to my roommate downstairs, 'Katie, Katie, Katie', 'oh my God" that's all I could say."

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      McWilliams says the flames were raging outside of her home, which she tried to save until the very end.{}"We took pots and pans and tried to put the fire out and we did that until we knew that there's nothing we could do," said McWilliams. "It was surreal to know that we lost everything that you own in a matter of an hour."

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      McWilliams wasn't alone that morning. Six other families were left homeless and more than a hundred others without a job.

      "These people like me and many others live pay check to pay check," said Patricia Strickland, executive director for Georgetown County Unite Way. "You can imagine what that would be like if you didn't have a check to go to the grocery store this week. So, we know the urgency of it and the community obviously is seeing the urgency and really pitching in."

      One week after the damage, state officials helped{}the unemployed find work and government services.

      "I think they haven't known all the services that were available to them," said Cindy Rogers, area director for SC Works. "So, a lot of them want to know about what jobs are available in the area. We have been working with local employers so we have had several job openings in the service industry." {}

      If anyone would like to make personal appointments with SC Works, they will take walk-ins at their Georgetown office on Highmarket Street.{}

      A Facebook page also has resources for fire victims looking for work.

      Members of the Pawley's Island Rotary Club are posting job listings on the Front Street Unemployment Relief Facebook page.

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