The fire displaced 16 people, seven were transported to the hospital and one was flown to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston as a result of a fire that destroyed a unit at Windsor Green in the Carolina Forest community. Horry County Fire Rescue spokesperson Mark Nugent said none of the injuries were burns. He said the injuries were broken bones from jumping to safety. He said the first fire engine arrived on the scene four minutes after the call was made shortly after 9 p.m. All of the residents have been accounted for, but Nugent said investigators are on the scene Friday looking for anyone who may have entered the building to help. No one has been reported missing. Photo by Janet Morgan/Myrtle Beach Herald janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

Another victim of last year’s Windsor Green condo fire filed a lawsuit against the complex’s homeowners association and property management company on Monday.

Maria Hatzidakis, who lost her condo in the April 12 blaze, filed the fourth lawsuit against the defendants, who are accused of not taking the necessary precautions to prevent the disaster.

Hatzidakis’ lawsuit makes similar claims to the other cases: The building had no sprinkler or fire alarm system and no access to a fire extinguisher.

“Despite the Defendants’ knowledge of the dangerous conditions at and around the Plaintiff’s building and Condo, the Plaintiff was never warned of the lack of necessary and proper fire protection, suppression, notification, and/or detection devices or systems or that their Condo was not equipped with a secondary means of escape,” the lawsuit states. “The Defendants acts and omissions caused, in whole or in part, the damages suffered by the Plaintiff. This is negligence.”

The defendants have not responded to any of the lawsuits in court filings. A representative for the Windsor Green HOA has not responded to requests for comment.

Last month, three families — the Alewines, the Emmingers and the Boulavskys — sued the HOA and the property management company.

The cause of the fire, which left seven people injured, was ruled undetermined by Horry County officials, but the lawsuits state the fire was caused by a bird’s nest igniting in a second-story light fixture. An electrical failure or the heat of the bulb set the nest ablaze, according to the complaints.

The county fire department’s Windsor Green report indicates that the fire began in a second-story breezeway near Apartment 201. The extensive damage and lack of physical evidence led investigators to label the cause undetermined.

In some cases, the fire blocked the exit, forcing families to jump to survive.

Some victims suffered broken bones as a result of the fall.

Although the building did not have a sprinkler system, Horry County Government spokeswoman Kelly Moore has said sprinklers were not required for that type of structure when it was built.

The lawsuits, however, argue that the defendants should have made the safety upgrades, particularly after a 2013 fire in the same complex destroyed 26 buildings. When those condos were rebuilt, they were crafted to meet modern standards.

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236


I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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