Cause of Holly Hill fire labeled as incendiary; investigation continues

Holly Hill fire labeled as incendiary; investigation continues (Photo: WACH)

The fire that destroyed commercial buildings in Holly Hill has been labeled as incendiary following an investigation.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)'s National Response Team, a brief investigation revealed the cause to be incendiary. ATF's NRT responded on January 10 to help SLED, Holly Hill Police Department, Holly Hill Fire Department, and the Orangeburg County Fire District in the investigation.

In the ATF's official South Carolina code, incendiary is defined as any material that:

  • causes, or is capable of causing, a fire when it is lit or ignited; and
  • is used to ignite a flammable liquid or compound in an unlawful manner.

The bureau came to this conclusion after examining and processing the scene of the fire. Evidence has been sent to a forensic lab for testing. Because of the damage level, "determining the origin and cause also required the collection and analysis of information and evidence obtained outside the confines of the actual scene," according to the ATF's press release.

The fire occurred on January 8 and destroyed three commercial buildings. Damages were estimated at $1 million.

The investigation is ongoing.

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