ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) – The fire at an Anderson strip mall is under investigation by the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agency.
It happened Sunday morning on Clemson Boulevard.
Fire crews said nearly eight businesses have been impacted, and right now multiple agencies are trying to process the scene to see how it got started.
“I just came here and saw eight fire trucks…a lot of firefighters, a big ladder and a lot of water,” Alteration Shoe Repair Owner Viktor Koval said.
Koval said fear took over when he heard multiple businesses were in flames. He said he’s thankful to learn his shoe repair store was undamaged.
“I was scared. I just opened the door and aired out everything,” Koval said.
Crews with the Anderson Fire Department said they received a call about a fire at the Market Place Shopping Center at 8:13 Sunday morning.
“There’s about eight to nine businesses effected by this. Several are heavy fire damage as you can tell. And then even the ones who are further down, they did have some water damage,” City of Anderson Fire Department Public Information Officer Travis Poore said.
A federal postal office was also included in the fire.
“The mail service from this facility has now been moved to the Anderson Main Post Office. So customers who are looking for their mail in the box section here, can just go to the Anderson main post office,” United States Postal Inspector Tom Gasser said.
Federal and City law enforcement agencies are still trying to figure out what happened.
“In a case like this we want to determine where the fire started, and where the incident occurred, but also how and why,” said Vince Pallozzi, ATF Special Agent in Charge from the Charlotte Division.
ATF investigators said it may take awhile to determine a cause. In the meantime, postal inspectors said there shouldn’t be any impacts with mail.
“There were no carriers out of this facility, so the mail delivery to the community should not be interrupted from this,” Gasser said.
With many businesses closed as this investigation continues, Koval said he’s just grateful to still be open.
“I think God saved us because behind the wall, no power, no nothing. Here we still have power. We still have water. You know…thanks God,” Koval said.
ATF said they have a number of experts on scene assessing the damage. They said they will work the scene for the duration of the investigation. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is also assisting with the investigation.