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SLED investigating after flames engulf historic Pageland home

PAGELAND, S.C. — A 100-year-old home stands as a shell, a ruin is left of the home on McGregor Street in downtown Pageland.

"Any time you see something like this, it hurts," said Lindsey Evans, who runs a small grocery store across the street.  He opened his shop Monday morning and saw the aftermath of the fire.

"Even if they can restore it, it'll never be the same," he said.

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Barry Laney got a call from his daughter who was staying with her grandmother behind the burning house.

"She was shook up, and she called 911 after seeing it," he said.

The fire was so intense, it did some minor damage to the house behind it and the business beside it.

A family counseling practice called Elite Community counseling opened its doors at the house in April 2016.

It was the first business to operate after the home was renovated and had been a private home for years.

On Monday morning, there was melted siding, gaping holes where doors and windows used to be, and the high roof was gone, leaving tall chimneys standing alone.

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents spent hours in the rain shoveling out areas that could lead them to discover the cause of the fire.

Pageland police called SLED in to investigate partly because someone was inside the home late Sunday before the fire started.  At this point, investigators are not calling it suspicious.

The town of Pageland had just started an effort to revitalize its downtown and protect historic buildings. Part of that was a campaign called Pick Pageland, which aimed at getting some grants to fix up buildings and benefit local businesses.

Tim Griffin heads the chamber of commerce.

"Last night we took a double hit. We lost a business, and we lost one of our historical buildings. So, it was a very big loss for our town last night," Griffin said.

Griffin said town leaders are trying to find a temporary home for the business, so families attending counseling there don't lose those services.

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Pageland fire Chief Tommy Rivers said 28 firefighters responded overnight from four different departments. The total damage is estimated at $220,000, and the historic home did not have fire alarms or sprinklers inside.

Family members of the owners told Channel 9 the home was a Sears house, which was one of the thousands built in the early 1900s.

Those homes were bought from the Sears and Roebuck catalog.

This is a developing story. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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