Fundraiser to assist victims of Easter Weekend fires

Professional firefighters from all over Horry and Georgetown Counties held a fundraiser Sunday at Dead Dog Saloon in Murrells Inlet in memory of the four lives that were lost in fires the weekend of April 19th.

That weekend, the Murrells Inlet and Garden City communities had two fires, both involved extensive damage and loss of life for two separate families.

This event was held to provide some financial relief for the survivors.

Within minutes of the six hour fundraiser, almost every seat was full.

"We're trying to raise money to give to the victims of the fires, their families and those affected," said Kyle Nelson, Vice-President of the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Professional Firefighters Association.

Tim McFarland was one of the firefighters on shift that responded to both fires. "We went in, made the fire attack and that's when we came across the first victim. It was a lot of hard work but basically when it comes to a point like that you just rely on your training and everything you were taught. Your mind doesn't even know what you're doing, you just go right into that mode that you've been drilled with throughout training and we did everything we could and just brought them out."

This was the first time in more than 9 years that Murrells Inlet-Garden City firefighters had to respond to 2 deadly fires in less than 24 hours, according to officials at the Murrells Inlet Garden City Professional Firefighters Association. The weekend took both an enormous mental and physical toll on McFarland and his crew.

"It's a very stressful job. It's a very hard job, physical and demanding and we did what we were taught to do," McFarland explained.

But Sunday's fundraiser, didn't require any teaching, just lots of heart. It featured a silent auction, a raffle and ten dollar lunch plates, with proceeds to go directly to the fire victims families.

"Being able to get out here and get everyone out and get the community out and raise a little bit of money and just try to help out as much as we can, this is what the job's about," McFarland explained.

The event was sponsored by the Murrells Inlet Garden City Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 4940 in conjunction with the Professional Fire Fighters Associations from Horry County Fire Rescue, Surfside Beach and Myrtle Beach.

If you missed the event but would still like to help those victims you can call the Murrells Inlet-Garden City Professional Firefighters Association at 440-821-3950.