Richland drops Benedict fire violation citations

Richland County is dropping charges against Benedict College related to fire-safety and other violations at a hotel being used as a dormitory.

County attorney Larry Smith said the county is no longer going to prosecute the four tickets that were set for magistrate's court Monday.

"Those citations were based upon the fact that those buildings were occupied," Smith said Friday. "Since the students have been evacuated ... the issues have become moot."

Benedict College renovated a hotel near Two Notch Road and I-20 as a dorm. The college moved 251 students into the facility Aug. 8 even as the county warned it didn't meet fire-safety laws, building codes or zoning requirements.

Students have since been relocated to an apartment complex on Garners Ferry Road. The college pledged to improve the dorm, adding a sprinkler system, among other things.