Officials react to massive fire in Bamberg, South Carolina


BAMBERG, S.C. (WJBF) – Heartbreaking and sad, those are some of the words that officials used when describing the scene in Bamberg after a fire destroyed four buildings Tuesday night. 

“I was in Berlin during the second world war when they bombed Berlin it burned from one end to the other. This reminded me of Berlin,” building owner Steve Leninski said.

“I was up here last night watching them burn. So it’s going to take me a while to get over it,” Mayor Nancy Foster said. 

After living in the area all of her life, the blaze is something hard to wrap her head around.

“I’m anxious to know what happened.  So. We will move on and we’ll get it cleaned up. I don’t know if we will rebuild but we’ll make something out of this project,” Foster added.

Multiple agencies responded to the fire that broke out Tuesday evening.

“I was home asleep and a friend of mine and his friend stopped by and woke me up  I ran over here about 7:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.  

Leninski is the owner of the buildings. He said the ones destroyed, held a number of precious items.
“18th-century antiques from Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, all over New England.  A lot of jewelry, lots of paintings, very good 18th-century furniture, “Leninski added.

Plans to move the downtown area is on the backburner.

“We’ve been working on a smart growth project and a pedestrian plan working with the highway department to restore the buildings and with the owners to restore the buildings and do some upgrades in the public areas down here so we’ve been working on that. So this is a blow,” Foster added. 

When asked how to move forward from a fire like this, Leninski said, “Well you have no choice, you have to do what’s right and move forward. it’s just that simple.”

The SLED working to determine the cause of the blaze.

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