The historic Georgetown, South Carolina, waterfront was wracked by fire today, as flames destroyed at least eight buildings. No injuries or deaths were reported. Georgetown’s marinas were not harmed. Several boats docked along the Harborwalk were said to have been damaged but saved.
Claiborne Young of the Salty Southeast Cruisers Net reported that a local TowBoat U.S. operator “cut lines and floated vessels out into the Sampit River so they would not be damaged," then moved all the freed vessels to Harborwalk Marina, which is downstream from the affected area.
Chris Carroll, operations manager at the marina, warned that there are large hunks of debris in the Sampit as a result of the fire and said the U.S. Coast Guard has issued a warning to mariners plying local waters.
According to the Associated Press, the fire broke out about 5:30 a.m. and quickly spread along the 700 block of Front Street along the community's riverfront dining and shopping
district, sending people who live in apartments scrambling to get out. Firefighters had the blaze under control by early afternoon. Officials have asked the State Law Enforcement Division and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the fire because it was so large.
The city’s economy is certain to suffer in the short run but, two major events scheduled for next month in Georgetown, the Bridge 2 Bridge Run and the Wood Boat Show, will both go ahead as planned, city officials confirmed.