CPD identifies persons of interest in connection with historic Babcock building fire

CPD identifies persons of interest in connection with historic Babcock building fire
Authorities are searching for six persons of interest who were in the area of the historic Babcock building at the time of the fire. (Source: Timmons, Jennifer A)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Columbia Police Department, the Columbia Fire Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) have identified six persons of interest following a fire that happened at the historic Babcock building on Saturday morning.

The group was captured on surveillance video in the area around the time of the fire. Officials say the group also occupied a red truck that was seen in the area at the time as well.

Officials say they are interviewing the suspects to gather more information about the incident.

Authorities are looking to identify six persons of interest in connection with a fire at the historic Babcock building on Saturday morning.
Authorities are looking to identify six persons of interest in connection with a fire at the historic Babcock building on Saturday morning. (Source: Timmons, Jennifer A)

The fire was noticed around 6:30 a.m. Saturday when a police officer patrolling the area smelled smoke and saw a dense layer of fog in the area.

Firefighters made their way to the scene to fight the 3-alarm fire. Crews discovered flames coming from the basement of the building. Ultimately, the fire burned the building’s roof causing damage to the dome that sat atop the structure. The fire also caused structural collapses inside the building as well.

At this point, it is believed the fire caused millions of dollars worth of damages. However, estimates are still being determined.

Officials say 50 firefighters and 14 fire trucks were on the scene of the fire. The Fort Jackson Fire Department was also on hand to assist with extinguishing the fire. In all, it took 10 hours to put the fire out.

According to the fire department, two firefighters suffered minor injuries after being hit with debris from the building.

Copyright 2020 WIS. All rights reserved.