Crowd gathers to view historic Charleston home destroyed by fire


All eyes are still on 48 Smith Street, but this time to see the aftermath. Crowds of people gathered to take pictures and catch a glimpse at what’s left of the historic home in downtown Charleston.

"It drew a lot of people. They're saying, 'Oh my gosh, I don't believe this is really happening. I want to go see what it looks like.' So, you can see the traffic that's coming through here today," Dale Smith, a neighbor said.

The once historic building is now just a shell of a home.

“The owner told me it was about 200-years-old," Smith said.

Remnants of smoke still exit the roof nearly 24 hours after it went up in flames.

"It was mostly smoke and contained and then it just burst into flames, and that was a little scary. The heat, the temperature, got pretty hot," Smith said.

Smith lives across the street, he said fire crews worked tirelessly to put out the fire.

"It was really miraculous that they were able to contain it and not let it get out of hand beyond that one house," Smith said.

Crews were still on scene Saturday morning, accessing the damage and returning what little could be salvaged.

"It's a bunch of young college-aged people. They're trying to get their start in life, and this is a bad way to start off life if you lose everything. They lost everything. They can't go in to get anything and need a place to stay,” Smith Street resident Lily Sherpamo said.

The city says the fire was contained Friday evening but crews stayed throughout the night to control hot spots. The fate of the home is still unknown.

"The fire people were really concerned last night that the structure may collapse, and it's still a possibility that it may. I'm sure it's a total tear-down,” Smith said.

The city says the fire is still under investigation. They say structural engineers will go through and access the damage and then determine the potential for reconstruction.

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