Fire guts Black Chamber building SC; vandalized in the past

WCBD-FireGeneric

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — Investigators in South Carolina are looking into the cause of a fire that gutted the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce building, which had been the target of vandals in the past.

The Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Chief tells the Beaufort Gazette local investigators and S.C. Law Enforcement Division officials will work to determine the cause of the fire and where it started. Fire Chief Reece Bertholf says the blaze broke out early Saturday morning.

Before the building broke ground, someone spray painted “Racist” in red letters on its sign in July 2015.

Beaufort County Black Chamber CEO and president Larry Holman says the fire could set the $2.2 million project back at least a year. It was to be completed in December with a grand opening in January.

Beaufort County is about 100 miles south of Charleston.

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