Massive Goose Creek apartment fire leaves residents empty-handed


By Natalie

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) -- Emotions ran high Thursday while a fire tore apart a Goose Creek apartment building on Harbour Lake Drive. Many who know people living at Pine Harbour Apartments were panicking, trying to account for their loved ones in the chaos.

Kristina Douglas says some of her children's friends live at the apartment complex.

"It was really, actually hard for all of us waiting to hear the names of the people involved," she said.

Sixteen units were burned, about 46 people without a place to live, according to American Red Cross officials. Some of those families were left wondering if anything that meant something to them remained in the rubble Friday.

"They won't let us there. They won't let us get anything at all, which I understand. It's a crime scene. They got to do their investigation," a woman said.

The mother of three, who did not want to be identified by name, says she lived in one of the destroyed apartments. On Friday, she described it as a skeleton.

"You can see if you look at it now. You can see straight through all three babies' bedrooms," she said.

Fortunately for her, she and her children weren't home at the time. But, they had to stand outside and watch their home burn. When the smoke cleared, they found there was little left.

"We did lose wedding photos, baby pictures, my engagement ring," she said. "If you look into the bedroom, well Riley's bedroom, there's one wall where you can literally still see the stuff hanging up on the wall, like a chalkboard."

Now, she's fueled with anger, with questions over how and why the fire started.

"I'm mad! I want to know answers," she said.

Investigators remain tight-lipped, confirming an active meth lab in one of the apartments on Friday. Meanwhile, others like Kristina McDonald, a local church member, hope to ease the pain a bit.

"We're going to have clothing, small toys, games, shoes, toiletries, those kinds of things. We won't ask them any questions. They can just come and get what they need. Obviously and hopefully they'll be blessed by doing that," McDonald said.

Donations can be dropped off at the Shield of Faith Church in Hanahan from 10 a.m. until noon and those affected by the fire can pick up items from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.