More facades coming down in Georgetown

akelley@thesunnews.comOctober 2, 2013 

Notes let by children adorn the fence on Front Street in Georgetown with a bunrt out building facade in the background.

JBLACKMON@THESUNNEWS.COM — Janet Blackmon Morgan

More facades along Front Street in Georgetown will be coming down, according to the city’s administrator.

The facades that still stand where a row of buildings stood before last week’s fire will be taken down on Thursday by a contractor, said City Administrator Chris Carter.

Two of the facades fell on Sunday and those that remain are not stable, Carter said.

In total seven buildings were destroyed Sept. 25 in the 700 block of Front Street. The blaze forced 130 people out of work while displacing eight or nine families living in the apartments above the buildings.

The cause of the fire remained unknown on Wednesday, said Carter, who said he isn’t sure when determination of the cause might be made.

Carter said much remains unknown about the fire, including a damage estimate.

Mayor Jack Scoville estimated the damage estimate would reach into the millions, but Carter said it will be difficult to determine a total cost because each building was privately owned.

The bricks for each building, some more than a century old, also belong to the owners. The Charleston Historical Preservation Society had visited the site to look at the bricks, officials said.

But, Carter couldn’t say whether any were salvageable or what would happen to them.

“It’s up to the individual owners,” he said.

It’s also the owner’s responsibility to remove the debris, but Carter expects that to occur within the next week. The affected section of Front Street won’t reopen until the debris is moved.

Meanwhile, fundraising efforts to help victims continue, including some who still are without homes.

An online donating site, http://georgetownfirerelief.com, was created last week in addition to the Front Street Fire Relief Fund at any First Citizens Bank in South Carolina or the Front Street Fire Fund at First Federal/SCBT.

A benefit concert and business after hours will be held Thursday at the Francis Marion Park on the corner of Front Street and Broad Street from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hosted by the Georgetown Business Association and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, the concert will benefit the Georgetown Fire Relief Fund with music donated by The Foreclosures.

On Saturday the Art Commission is holding an art fundraiser at 4124 Highway 17 Business, Unit D in Murrells Inlet. All proceeds will be given to John Walters, an artist who’s studio and home was destroyed in the fire. He also lost his pet dog, Jake.

Monday, Portifinos on the Wharf at 815 H Front Street will hold a silent and live auction selling Walter’s remaining art pieces. The semi-formal event includes live music and runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fundraisers later in October

• Walking Shadows Ghost Tours is taking reservations for a benefit ghost tour on Oct. 12 starting at 9 p.m. The tour costs $12 and proceeds benefit the victims of the fire. Call 543-5321 for more information and to sign up.

• Southern Style Salon, located at 709 Front Street, is holding a cut-a-thon on Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The salon will be cutting hair with proceeds going to the victims of the fire. For more information, call 527-2326.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381, or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_akelley.

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