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A year later, bar owners still hope to get back into East Bay building

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – Charleston's night sky filled with flames and fear on April 2, 2013. An historic building burned as firefighters braved billowing smoke and a ferocious inferno.

"At first we just thought, ‘Okay it's a minor fire upstairs. They'll get it put out,'" recalled Matt Quillen. "Within 30 minutes the flames were 30 feet high."

He owns The Brick, a bar inside the iconic East Bay Street building.  He's planning to re-open, but he doesn't know when.

"It's basically in the owner's hands right now to re-build the building. So as soon as that happens and we get the call, we're going to be in there putting it back together," said Quillen.

He says he's salvaging what he can from the ruins. He has a photo of the fallen bricks from the damaged building.

"It's kind of an ironic scenario that our bar is now storing bricks," said Quillen.

"One or two sprinkler heads would have controlled that fire," said Charleston Deputy Fire Chief John Tippett. 

He says sprinkler codes weren't in effect several years ago during renovations. The investigation was difficult.

"It was determined to be accidental. But the actual pinpointing was impossible to figure out just because of the structural damage," said Deputy Chief Tippett.

For now, scaffolding surrounds the structure, and tenants like Matt Quillen are ready to return.

"Our goal is to be back in that space if we can," said Quillen.


  • Bill Burr

    Email: bburr@abcnews4.com Reporter Profile




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