City of Charleston releases statement after building collapse

Source: Live 5
Source: Live 5

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston City officials and public safety officers are working to secure an area after a roof collapsed in a vacant building Friday night.

It happened at a building on St. Phillips Street behind Memminger Elementary, between Beaufain and Wentworth Streets.

Saturday a spokesman with the City of Charleston released a statement about the incident:

"First, and most important, we're very thankful that no one was hurt during the partial collapse. Currently, city officials and public safety officers are working with the property owner to ensure that the area is safe and secure going forward."

Charleston fire officials said the building was built in the 1950s, but has been abandoned for several years now.

"It's always a sight on the tour that people look at because of how dilapidated it is," said Andrew Hutek, a carriage tour guide.

Hutek has been giving carriage tours for more than three years.

He said seeing the building like this doesn't surprise him, because nothing had been done with it.

"The regulations that the city puts down on the building codes is really what you have to look into when you see a building like this," he said.

"It's sad because it looked like it had pretty good bones, and if somebody had worked on it maybe could have brought it to life again," said Rena Lankford, who works near the building.

The city's Board of Architectural Review looks at all possible demolitions regardless of age within the Old and Historic District.

Lankford feels there was some historical value in the building.

"The architectural details were kind of neat," she said. "The arched windows, the roofline, and the tile roof, which is kind of unusual. I thought it was kind of a neat building."

Charleston fire officials reported part of the building collapsed into the school's parking lot, damaging a CCSD vehicle.

The lot is now closed, and no injuries have been reported.

Both the owner of the building and Charleston County School District have been notified.

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