MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Guests at Captain’s Quarters in Myrtle Beach described what it was like realizing there was a fire in the hotel Wednesday.
Myrtle Beach Fire Department crews were there all day on Thursday investigating the cause of the fire. Some guests said it was a rude awakening seeing people run through the hallways with towels on their faces trying to breathe.
“It was actually the worst experience I’ve ever had in my whole life honestly,” said Elisha Gabriel, who was visiting from Pennsylvania. “[We] heard this noise and it was like a smoke detector but it was very faint, it wasn’t like in our room it was basically out in the hallway but it was like floors down, floors away — it was not in our room.”
Another guest visiting from North Carolina, Rodney Clien, said he had a similar start to his Wednesday morning.
“But I wasn’t hearing any smoke alarms, I could hear them from a distance but they weren’t going off in my part of the building,” Clien said.
City fire officials said the building has been inspected within the past year. Since the hotel was built in 1973, its alarm system is different than what a lot of us are used to.
“So, they don’t have one in every room like some might have now. It just depends on the time and the code of the place that it was built,” Capt. Jonathan Evans said. “So, they do have them in hallways here. I know they were going off, it may just not have been on every floor because of where the fire was. It’s just designed that way.”
News13 asked both guests, if it wasn’t the smoke alarm that led them to evacuate, what was it?
“We smelt the burning, electric burning from the bowling alley,” Gabriel said.
“That smoke was bad . . . it was like plastic burning,” Clien said.
Several guests expressed frustration with what they called a lack of guidance from the hotel. Fire officials said everyone was safe.
“If you’re on the 13th floor in this case, because the fire was on the 6th or 7th floor, then you were fine,” Clien said. “It just took a little bit more time for us to get to you, to get you evacuated. Or you could self-evacuate at that point.”
City said officials said that all guests that needed a place to stay were re-booked at sister hotels.
News13 has reached out multiple times to the owner of Captain’s Quarters Resort and Vacation Myrtle Beach, but have yet to hear any answers or reaction to Clien’s statement.