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189 left homeless by Carolina Forest Fire; All victims accounted for

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Myrtle Beach, SC -

Investigators say there appeared to be little firefighters could do to save more than 100 homes that were destroyed by an Horry County fire that burned two dozen condominium buildings and left nearly 200 people homeless.

State Forestry Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins says authorities have determined the fire Saturday at Windsor Green in Carolina Forest started near power lines less than 50 feet from the nearest building in the complex.

Investigators have not determined what sparked the fire that left 189 people homeless, but they say that it was likely set by someone.

Investigators say the area where the fire started was trampled over by dozens of emergency personnel, so they likely will never know if the fire was started by accident, like a discarded cigarette, or intentionally. Fire investigators say they have ruled out some things that could have caused the fire. They say power lines, debris burning, lightning or a campfire have all been ruled out. They say it was human-caused though.

 Authorities also said Monday they have accounted for all 189 residents of the Windsor Green neighborhood. The fire destroyed 109 units in two-dozen buildings in the complex.

 The blaze spread quickly, burning buildings on three different streets to rubble. No deaths or injuries were reported. 

Gov. Nikki Haley visited the condos Monday afternoon. 

HCPD Chief Rhodes says all residents are accounted for. Rhodes also says a lot of pets lost in the fire. Wind was a big factor in the fire spreading so quickly, he added.

Darryl Jones with the State Forestry Commission says they've identified a 15 by 15 foot area where the fire started. It started at the rear of the area.

Investigators believe close to 189 people lost their home

Hawkins says the Forestry Commission recommends at least 30 feet of material that won't burn in front of buildings. Many of the condos had grass and pine straw in their yards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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