Nearly a month after fire, Windsor Green victims reunite

Windsor Green fire victims gather at the Hilton Garden Inn.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE ) - "It feels like it's been longer. I haven't seen a month go by this slowly in a long time," shared Rich Peterson. He and his wife bought their condo at Windsor Green in 1998. Peterson joined a handful of other people also affected by the fire Thursday night at a reception hosted by the the Hilton Garden Inn in Myrtle Beach.

On the night of March 16, the lives of nearly 200 people who called Windsor Green home changed dramatically. Within minutes, 26 buildings caught fire, fueled by dry conditions and high winds. In all, 109 units were destroyed.

Nearly four weeks later, those who lost so much that day came together. Peterson said he's fortunate he's able to stay with family. "It's been tough. It's nothing I would wish on anyone. First time in my life, I'm not young anymore and to go through this is not a nice thing."

The hotel wanted to bring them together and give them a chance to also meet with first responders. Reaching out was important to General Manager Thomas McDonald, because his family was affected by Hurricane Sandy. "This was an opportunity for me to do something here for people who are going through something similar, something along those lines where they've lost everything and need something to be a community again.

Construction hasn't started yet, but the condos will be re-built.

"I said I'd be thrilled if we were in by Christmas. But in the meantime, time goes on. You gotta do what you gotta do," added Peterson.

Despite what they've lost, this group continues to move forward and make the best out of difficult situation.