Fire marshal shuts down portion of motel where foreign students live

The building that was shutdown at the Calypso Motel. / Lisa Edge

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - A portion of a Myrtle Beach motel where foreign students live is being shut down due to safety concerns and overcrowding, according to Myrtle Beach Fire Marshal and Assistant Chief Bruce Arnel.

The Calypso Motel is at First Avenue North and Flagg Street.

Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue did not shut the motel completely down, only one back building and the 3rd floor of the B building, Arnel said.

Code enforcement officers inspected the buildings after receiving several complaints about the living conditions.

Students from Ireland who had been living there for the past few weeks say it's been an unpleasant experience.

"When we got here, we had no idea it was going to be this bad. We were kind of shocked," explained Matthew Coughlan.

"We were promised safe clean conditions and a nice place to stay, and when we walked in, it was a different story. Just insects, everything. Wake up in the morning covered in bites. It wasn't a nice place to live," added Cian Kavanagh. "The bathroom's leaking from the ceiling at one stage. The drain was blocked. The toilets didn't really work very well. It was just a nightmare."

A sign that states the "structure is unsafe for human habitation" is outside both buildings. Arnel said one of the many problems was a lack of working smoke detectors.

The students say 15 of them were sharing three bedrooms and paying $80 each per week. Because of the conditions, they had three hours to pack their things and find a new place to live.

"We don't want to put anyone on the street, but this was something we couldn't ignore," Arnel said.

Calypso Inn owner Yehuda Sadeh, said he's not at fault and blames the students for most of the problems.

"They drink every night from ten o'clock until four, five in the morning," Sadeh explained. "Not only drinking, trashing the place, throwing stuff in the pool. Throwing chairs in the pool. Every night partying, noise, everything."

According to Sadeh the students took out the batteries of the smoke detectors, which they deny. He added the overcrowding issue is because they allow friends to stay with them.

"We can move them. They have choice. If they don't want, they can go. We don't force them to stay here," added Sadeh.

Sadeh has until 8 a.m. Tuesday morning to get the other parts of the motel in order.

"We came over to experience culture and work, and we weren't greeted very well by one of the first men we met," added Kavanagh.