HOLLY HILL, SC (WCSC) - Investigators in Holly Hill are not ruling out arson as the cause of a fire that destroyed three businesses early Monday morning.
The fire, called in at 12:30 a.m., destroyed the Super 10 department store and two neighboring stores on Old State Road.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, they saw flames shooting out of Super 10, Joy's Touch of Class and Goldstein's.
Investigators say they are not ruling out arson as a possible cause.
Holly Hill Police called in agents from the State Law Enforcement Division to gather evidence to determine what sparked the fire.
Jan Wyles, who owns the Super 10 building, said it was 100 years old and served as a boarding house in the 1920s.
Wyles said she was devastated when she learned about the fire from Holly Hill's mayor.
"I cried and cried and cried," she said. "I couldn't control myself and then you calm down and then it's just like disbelief."
Hannah Reben worked at the Super 10.
"This is one of our favorite places in town and even though I have two jobs, I also relied on this job," she said.
Super 10 was housed in the building's first floor while the second floor was used for storage. An antique car was stored on the building's second floor, Wyles said.
"I have a 1929 Model T Ford up there that my dad restored," Wyles said. "The firemen are telling me that the frame is still there."
Holly Hill Police and SLED spent the day gathering evidence.
The police chief says arson is not being ruled out.
The Super 10 store's brick front remains intact. But shortly after noon, firefighters pushed onlookers back because of concerns the building could collapse. Barricades have since been put up so no one can get close.
As far as the future of the Super 10, the owner says that's uncertain right now.
"It's just really hard to understand and believe that it happened," Wyles said.
"I don't know if it can be rebuilt or not," Reben said. "I sure hope something can be done because we will miss it very much."
At least 10 fire departments, including Holly Hill Fire, Eutawville Fire, Providence Fire Vance Fire and Elloree Fire, responded. It took several hours to bring the flames under control.
Firefighters do not yet know which building the fire started in.
No injuries were reported.