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Downtown Orangeburg building ablaze

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Firefighters converged on downtown Orangeburg on Friday night where they are battling a blaze at a Russell Street building.

The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety attacked the fire from above using a ladder truck to spray water on the building between Evergreen and Dean’s Ltd.

Mayor Michael Butler watched the firefighters from the sidewalk, saying “They responded quickly and are here to make sure it doesn’t spread. Our entire Public Safety Department is here.”

Kristen Hicks said she smelled smoke when she arrived downtown at about 7:45 p.m. to see “The Addams Family” at the Bluebird Theater. About 20 minutes into the show, they were evacuated.

“They came down the aisle and said stop the music,” she said. The theater-goers were told to leave but they didn’t need to rush, though, because the fire wasn’t that close.

“I think they cleared us for safety,” friend Whitney Wiles said. And then they had to move their cars away from building that was burning.

Vicki Smith King, the show’s house manager, said the Orangeburg-Part Time Players will honor Friday night’s tickets at either the Saturday or Sunday shows. Check the theater’s Facebook page for more information.


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