Historic Courthouse on Fire in South Carolina

August 5, 2008

An early morning fire on Aug. 4 heavily damaged the Courthouse in Lancaster County, South Carolina but there was no immediate word of injuries.

A number of fire trucks were at the scene of the fire early Monday and part of the roof of the building had collapsed, said Patty Reynolds, the owner of the Red Rose Barber Shop, located on a block next to the courthouse.

A city dispatcher told The Associated Press she could not release any information. Reynolds said she understood the fire was reported about 5 a.m.

WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C., reported witnesses reported seeing smoke pouring from the building early Monday.

The Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce Web site states the courthouse was constructed in 1828 and was designed by architect Robert Mills, who also designed the Washington Monument.

Reynolds said she could see no flames, but that crews continued to pour water on the smoldering building shortly before 8 a.m.

WSOC reported a number of fire department units at the scene.

Reynolds said the courthouse was used mainly for court, a session of which was scheduled to begin on Monday.

She said other county offices were in a newer building nearby.

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