How firefighters deal and recover from Windsor Green fire

The Windsor Green condo fire has been devastating for the community and the firefighters involved in putting it out. For support, firefighters have turned to each other.

"We all just started knocking down doors and getting everybody out," said Freddy Deangelis with Horry County Fire Rescue.

Deangelis is a volunteer firefighter in Horry County and he says the Windsor Green fire was the most scared he's ever been fighting a fire.

"They tried to do the best they could to keep the fire from spreading but as we were standing there two buildings just exploded right in front of us and after that we had to slowly back out of the block," he added.

Captain Michael Medeiros says firefighters are no stranger to fear, but the biggest fear is that of the unknown.

"No one knows if there's anybody there, no one knows if everybody's out, it's unknown and you don't think about that necessarily while you're doing it but it's in the back of your mind," Medeiros added.

Medeiros is the coordinator for Horry County fire's peer team.

Medeiros says that's why firefighters are trained to deal with those fears, even when they're in the middle of a blazing building.

But being trained to deal with fear and actually facing it on the job are two very different things.

Medeiros explained that it's up to each of them to look for the signs and symptoms of stress in each other.

"People do it at their stations, they talk after calls, that's the way it's done"

They can also access peer counselors: a team is made up of current and retired firefighters and certified volunteer counselors.

"It's taking care of our own," said Medeiros.