OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Crews responded to a fire involving several homes on Concord Street in Ocean Isle Beach early Thursday morning.
Mayor Debbie Smith says three homes are a total loss, and three others are damaged. She says one person was injured and airlifted to Chapel Hill.
Smith says the fire started in a car that got flooded out during Isaias, and was sitting under one of the homes. She says the call about the fire came in at 12:59 a.m.
Several agencies responded to the scene including Ocean Isle Beach Fire, Brunswick County EMS, Sunset Beach Fire, Shallotte Fire, Southport Fire And Horry County Fire.
The fire appeared to be out for the most part by 4 a.m., and crews started to clear the scene shortly after. A few crews remained on the scene to monitor the area, putting out hot spots and checking out the damage until around 7 a.m.
“It was quick,” neighbor Brian McCall said. “It was intimidating and just life threatening. It was instantly. By the time we got to the car and by the time we moved, the house was further engulfed and the flames shooting out.”
Neighbors along Concord Street described the scene early Thursday morning, saying they heard several loud booms.
“All of a sudden, kind of soft booms,” neighbor Randy Efird said. “Explosions. Boom. Boom. Boom three different times.”
Efrid says several surrounding houses quickly went up in flames as well.
“We saw the first house on fire, and quickly the other houses were engulfed,” Efird said.
McCall, who lives right across the street, says they also heard the booms and ran outside He says they saw the flames and ran across the street to grab their car parked near the home.
“It was intimidating to be the close,” McCall said. “We were literally probably 30 feet.”
The fire comes just days after several other fires sparked as Isaias made landfall on the island, and left behind some major flooding.
“A lot going on with Isaias, the fires and COVID and 2020, so it’s been a little challenging this week, but we’ll get through it,” McCall said. “OIB strong. We’ll get through it and keep working, and get this beautiful island back.”
Smith says any car that got wet during storm needs to be removed from under any structure.
She says the bridge to the island will still be open to the general public as scheduled at 7 a.m.