PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WBTW) — A three-alarm house fire has left two people dead and caused extensive damage to a home in Pawleys Island and a few nearby buildings, according to Midway Fire Rescue.

The two people who died were a married couple in their 70s, according to Midway Fire Rescue Chief Mark Nugent. One person was able to escape.

Crews were called at about 5:40 a.m. to Windy Lane, Nugent said. The fire spread to nearby buildings.

Smoke detectors at the home were working and helped the one person escape. The person who escaped thought the other two people already got out, according to Nugent.

“This is the kind of day we all dread,” Nugent said in a news release. “Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of those who were killed today.”

Georgetown County Coroner Chase Ridgeway said the couple’s remains were recovered Thursday afternoon. He also added that it could take weeks or months to identify the bodies.

The fire will be under investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which is standard protocol for deadly fires, according to Nugent.

Midway Fire Rescue thanked Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire, Horry County Fire Rescue, Georgetown County Fire, Georgetown Fire, and several others for assistance with the fire.

The cause of the fire will remain under investigation.