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Popular Campground Suffers Second Massive Fire in Less Than Two Years

For the second time in less than two years, a large fire broke out at a popular South Carolina campground. 

The thought of being in a campground when a fire strikes is terrifying. The proximity of buildings, RVs, and other structures at campgrounds can create dangerous scenarios when accidents occur. 

We’re sharing what we know about the fires at this campground. Plus other concerning news stories in Horry County, South Carolina. 

Let’s jump in!

Second Fire to Strike Campground in Two Years

Around 6 am on Sunday, January 23, a fire struck one of the rental homes at the Ocean Lakes Family Campground in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The 3-alarm blaze required 70 first responders from multiple fire stations to assist on the scene. 

Investigators don’t yet know the exact cause of the fire. However, heavy winds were a factor in the flames spreading throughout multiple homes. 

In total, the flames affected 11 homes, two of which it completely destroyed and another sustaining heavy damage. The remaining eight homes suffered damage to their siding from heat and fire exposure. 

Fortunately, no one died, and only one person reportedly sustained mild injuries due to smoke inhalation. They were treated on-site with oxygen and did not need hospitalization. 

This is the second fire to strike at this South Carolina campground. The first occurred on July 31, 2020. In that incident, investigators found the fire started in the storage room under one of the homes. Fire crews found a golf cart plugged into a charger in addition to a small fridge. 

On the official Ocean Lakes Family Campground Facebook page they issued the following statement:

OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING FIRE: We want to let everyone know the FACTS about the fire this morning at Ocean Lakes, there is a lot of misinformation. Most importantly, no one was injured (guests, homeowners, team on site to fight fire). One homeowner struggled with smoke and was administered oxygen and is being monitored. HCFR was called at 6:09 AM. Security was on site to inform and direct emergency responders as they arrived and assisted homeowners impacted by the fire. ALL homeowners whose sites have been visibly impacted have been notified, we cannot release those site numbers. FACTS: 2 sites destroyed, 1 heavily damaged, 8 others impacted (mainly due to heat such as siding). HCFR has control as fire is diminished and is on site to continue hot spot monitoring and keep under control.

About Ocean Lakes Campground

This family-owned vacation spot has been a popular destination since it opened in 1971. Located in Horry County, South Carolina, it sits along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean near Myrtle Beach. The massive campground sits on 310 acres and boasts over 800 campsites and 300 rental homes. 

Campendium and Trip Advisor reviewers give Ocean Lakes a solid four stars. It offers 30- and 50-Amp pull-through sites, suitable for big rigs. Plus it has all the basic amenities you’d expect from a nicer RV park.

Families enjoy vacationing at Ocean Lakes due to the variety of activities available. The campground includes a mini-golf course, swimming pools, beach access, and a nature center. Its proximity to Myrtle Beach is also appealing to campground visitors. 

Myrtle Beach is known for its excellent seafood restaurants, miles of beaches, water sport activities, and plentiful shopping options. Golf enthusiasts also enjoy the area, which is home to some of the best courses in the country. 

Not Just Campground Fires in the Area

Encompassing Myrtle Beach and other popular vacation spots, the county has been in the news a handful of times over the last few years. 

In addition to the two fires at Ocean Lakes, another story recently broke regarding nearby Carolina Pines RV Resort’s manager. Troy Bittner stands accused of stealing nearly one million dollars from the resort. Video surveillance captured Bittner removing money from the company safe. 

Carolina Pines also faced a lawsuit in 2021 from North Myrtle Beach for the improper use of a cabana house. The city accused the resort of using one of the Tilghman Beach cabanas reserved for the local homeowner’s association members. Even though Carolina Pines’ parent company owns the cabana, local law states that only an HOA can use it. 

Also in 2021, the federal government got involved with a local dispute between Horry County and the City of Myrtle Beach. The issue involved the proposed sale of land owned by Myrtle Beach to local campgrounds that lease the property from the city. 

In 1958, the city obtained the land from the US government with one clear condition. If it sold the land, proceeds would go to the county for local airport purposes. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating the case. 

Stay On Top of Maintenance to Prevent Fires

We’re glad no one was seriously injured in either of the blazes. And we sincerely hope South Carolina’s Ocean Lakes Campground and the affected residents recover quickly from the most recent fire.

Whether it started through an electrical issue, as suspected with the previous fire, is yet to be determined. This should be a warning to us all, though. Keeping on top of any potentially faulty wiring in our RVs and homes is essential.

Have you ever experienced a fire near or in your RV?

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