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Allen Benedict Court Administrative Building Suffers Fire

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(Columbia, SC) -The Administrative Building at the former Allen Benedict Court Public Housing Community caught fire Tuesday morning. Columbia Fire Department responded to the scene shortly after 8am to find the building fully involved. The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries. The Columbia Police Department also responded to assist Officer Damien White—Columbia Housing’s Community Safety Manager—in securing the property.

Officials on the scene suspect the fire was started by squatters who were taking refuge inside the vacated property to get in out of the elements.

The property has been vacant since it was ordered closed by the Columbia Fire Department in January of 2019 and is scheduled for demolition in the next few weeks.

“Our security team routinely surveils the property. After, today’s fire we will increase security to discourage trespassing on the property. Also, in a couple of weeks, the perimeter fencing will be installed in preparation for demolition of Allen Benedict Court,”

Ivory Mathews, Interim Executive Director

Interim Executive Director Ivory Mathews says while she is happy no one was hurt; she does intend to increase surveillance to discourage people from going inside of the vacant units. “Our security team routinely surveils the property. After, today’s fire we will increase security to discourage trespassing on the property. Also, in a couple of weeks the perimeter fencing will be installed in preparation for demolition of Allen Benedict Court,” says Mathews. “I am also thankful for the immediate and quick response of the Columbia Fire Department and the Columbia Police Department.”

The Residential and Administrative buildings of Allen Benedict Court are slated for demolition in the immediate future. The demolition contractor is Complete Demolition Services from Carrollton, GA. 

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