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Investigators still working to determine cause of massive fire at Midlands business

Published: Jul. 19, 2016 at 12:56 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2016 at 10:36 AM EDT
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SUMTER COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Sumter Fire Department continues to try and determine what caused a massive fire at a casket business on South Magnolia Street on Monday afternoon.

The Sumter Casket Company building caught fire just after noon on Monday, with firefighters from Shaw Air Force Base, the Columbia Fire Department, the Camden Fire Department, and the Clarendon Fire Department all working to extinguish the blaze.

RELATED: See photos of the fire at Sumter Casket Company.

Firefighters worked throughout Monday to put out the fire and and overnight into Tuesday to maintain any flare ups that occurred.

The investigation continues into a cause and Sumter County Fire Division Chief Brian Christmas said nothing has yet been determined. He said the process is a slow one and does not have a time frame for when the investigation might be completed.

He said a portion of the building was left standing, so it was not a total loss. Damages are estimated at about $750,000 for the building and $750,000 for the contents. The part of the building saved is estimated at $100,000 and the estimated amount of contents saved is $50,000.

Christmas said the business was insured.

"The offices burned," Christmas said, "but there was no fire in part of the warehouse. I think they are going to try to create some office space there for the time being and try to get the business up and going again."

He said the portion of the building left standing is about 125-feet by 50-feet wide.

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