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Allen Benedict Court Vacant Administrative Building Suffers Fire

June 16, 2020

For Immediate Release

Contact: Cynthia Hardy, SVP of Communications

(803) 254-3886 Ext 227, (803) 609-4331 mobile



Allen Benedict Court Vacant Administrative Building Suffers Fire


Columbia, SC --- The Administrative Building at the former Allen Benedict Court Public Housing Community caught fire Tuesday morning. Columbia Fire Department responded to the scene shortly after 8:00 am to find the building fully engulfed. The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries. The Columbia Police Department also responded to assist Officer Damien White-Columbia Housing's Community Safety Manager - in securing the property. 

Officials on the scene suspect the fire was started by squatters who were taking refuge inside the vacated property, seeking shelter from the unusual cold for this time of year. 

The property has been vacant since it was ordered closed by the Columbia Fire Department in January of 2019 and is scheduled for demolition. A contract has been awarded to demolish the property and work is scheduled to commence by the end of the month. 

Interim Executive Director Ivory Mathews says while she is happy no one was hurt; she does intend to increase surveillance to discourage people from going inside the vacant units. "Our security team routinely surveils the property. After, today's fire we will increase security to discourage trespassing on the property. Also, in a couple of weeks the perimeter fencing will be installed in preparation for demolition of Allen Benedict Court" says Mathews. "I am also thankful for the immediate and quick response of the Columbia Fire Department and Columbia Police Department".

Allen Benedict Court is slated for complete demolition and restoration of the site by the end of the year. The demolition contractor is Complete Demolition Services from Carrollton, GA. 



Columbia Housing currently provides affordable housing to 1,600+ families in its Public Housing Program and 4,000+ families in its Housing Choice Voucher Program.

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