Fire that damaged 2 Columbia homes was intentionally set, leaders say
The fire that damaged two homes near the University of South Carolina Tuesday morning is being investigated as arson, and police are looking for a man in connection with the incident, according to the Columbia Police Department.
Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said the fire, which involved two homes on Greene Street, has been deemed suspicious.
The Columbia Police Department released a surveillance image of a man they say is suspected of setting the fire.
There was no word Tuesday morning on how or where in the homes the fire was started.
The fire involved two homes on the 1700 block of Greene Street, according to Mike DeSumma, Columbia Fire Department spokesman. That’s located between the University of South Carolina campus and Five Points.
Crews were called to the scene just before 6:30 a.m., according to the fire department. The agency said around 7:45 a.m. that the fire is out but that it caused “significant” damage to the houses.
All occupants of the homes got out safely, according to the fire department. At least 12 people were displaced by the fire, which caused “hundreds of thousands” of dollars in damages, according to the fire department. Five people were in one house, and seven in the other.
Richland County tax records indicate that Peggy McMaster, the governor’s wife, has owned 1710 Green St. since August 1994 and 1716 Greene St. since November 1992.
In addition to the two houses burned in Tuesday’s fire, the McMasters own three other homes on that block: two on Greene Street and one on the 700 block of Henderson Street, tax records show.
Reporter John Monk contributed.