Preservation Society pictures show history of disaster at 213 East Bay

By Ava Wilhite

Charleston, S.C. (WCIV) The sidewalk in front of 213 East Bay remains closed, but people are still stopping to look up at the damage.

"It's a tough little building it's a survivor," said Robert Gurley, Director of Advocacy for The Preservation Society of Charleston.

He said according to their records, the building had several commercial and residential uses through the years.

"It's a survivor building. It lost its third floor in the earthquake, so we are glad to see that it appears it can be rehabilitated," said Gurley. {}

The Preservation Society provided ABCNews4 with pictures of the building after the tornado of 1939. The first is a street-wide view followed by a close-up with an obvious missing roof. The last picture was taken in the 70s or 80s after an engineer review.

"We've done a little research on the history and we are watching it closely and be happy to help out anyway that the owner thinks will be appropriate," Gurley said.

Tuesday's fire caused the roof of 213 East Bay to collapse. According to fire codes set by the International Code Council in 2006, the building is not required to have smoke detectors.

"Smoke alarms -- if they are not required, they ought to be," said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.

The ICC updates fire codes every few years. Once those codes are made they have to be adopted by the state legislature.