Wednesday’s fire along Georgetown’s historic waterfront caused significant loss to a picturesque retail destination that has attracted an increasing number of tourists in recent years. Seven structures were damaged or destroyed, and the popular waterfront walkway behind the buildings, overlooking the Sampit River, was scorched.
As City Councilman Paige Sawyer told the Georgetown Times, “It’s a sad day in Georgetown.”
It could have been much worse. Firefighters were able to help residents who lived in the upper floors of the mostly two-story structures escape injury.
And despite some reported problems with water pressure, the blaze was halted from spreading along the closely packed waterfront, thanks to firefighters.
But the structures, including two dating from the 1880s, are for the most part beyond repair. Their loss will leave a large gap in the town’s historic fabric and be sorely missed by long-time residents.
However, as waterfront property, there is little doubt that it will be redeveloped and hopefully in scale with the district. And the public waterfront walk will be repaired.
Though the S.C. Maritime Museum was damaged, its valuable exhibits were reportedly saved.
The fact that no one was killed or seriously injured is reason to applaud the firefighters from the town and other jurisdictions who responded valiantly to Wednesday’s challenge.