A Saturday afternoon fire damaged the Garden Circle Apartments on East Liberty Street in downtown Sumter leaving 63 people without a home.
Much of the damage was due to water rather than fire and smoke said Nancy Cataldo, Director of the American Red Cross of Central Carolina’s tri-county service center. “There was really only one apartment that was affected by fire. But because of water damage, the building power had to be shut down and all the residents had to be evacuated.”
While most people were able to go stay with relatives or friends in the area, there were 15 people from the apartment staying at the Birnie Hope Center which is doubling as a shelter. Cataldo isn’t sure when residents will be able to return. “They are trying to transition the facility, inspect and repair the facility so the residents can go back. We do not know the time line. One of the major concerns is the elevator in that facility has to be dried out.” She says they will work with those without a home to provide shelter as long as necessary.
Cataldo said two other house fires were called while firefighters were working the incident at the Garden Circle Apartments. “We had a fire in Manning at the same time and a fire in Mayesville at the same time. So we had a very interesting Saturday.”