Remains of Bamberg fire still on display; ball is in owner’s court


BAMBERG, S.C. (WJBF) — It’s been about six months since a fire broke out in downtown Bamberg, South Carolina. The area is mostly unoccupied with those remains on full display.

Shawn spoke with the owner and several local officials on the day of the incident. Many of them used words like “heartbreaking and sad” to describe the scene after a fire ripped through four buildings.

The owner of the buildings, Steve Leninski, told me at the time that the buildings destroyed, held a number of precious items — like 18th-century antiques and paintings.

Authorities arrested and charged Randy Lee Bloom with second-degree arson. In state police documents, we’ve learned Bloom later admitted to investigators that he lit a candle which caught other items on fire which then spread.

But why is this mess still there? “Clean up is in Mr. Leninski’s hands,” Mayor Nancy Foster told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. “We have gone through the court system to get him to comply but as of this date [no] results. The City may have to step in at some point. But the law dictates that the owner is to clean up his property,” she added.

Shawn also learned that the properties destroyed as well as others owned by Steve Leninski are delinquent in taxes. The properties are scheduled to be sold on December 9 unless the “taxes, assessments, penalties, and costs are paid in full.

He’s working to get an update from Steve Leninski.

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