State fire marshal investigates blaze at historic stone home in Darlington

State fire marshal investigates blaze at historic stone home in Darlington

The state fire marshal is investigating a fire that engulfed a historic stone house in Darlington.

Crews responded to reports of a fire on Spring Street just before midnight Saturday.

Darlington Police Chief Jason King said the estimated loss is $70,000, and although the stone structure is still standing, it is considered a total loss.

King said he cannot comment on the reasons why the state is involved in the investigation. A statement from the State Fire Marshal’s Office said it cannot comment on whether the fire is being investigated as a crime or not.

“What I can tell you is that they have concluded their inspection of the property and the cause of the fire is considered undetermined at this point in time,” King said in an email to News 3.

Sue Weigel came out to see the home on Spring Street for the first time Monday. Her son lived in the house before he unexpectedly died last fall.

“It hurts. It’s kind of like another, one more thing that’s gone,” Weigel said.

King said a man was living at the house recently, but he wasn’t at home at the time of the fire.

Marion Howard volunteers at the Lafayette County Historical Society and, based on records and pictures, she estimates the house was built in the 1860s.

“It was built probably by a J.G. Knight, who lived in town, was here for some time, went off to the Civil War, came back, and was editor of the Lafayette County Democrat newspaper,” Howard said.

Howard said decades ago, another historic stone home across the street from the one that burned over the weekend, was destroyed by a fire.

“It would be one of the earliest, and there are only two or three old stone houses in Darlington left,” Howard said.

Howard doesn’t believe the latest stone house to be lost to fire was registered as a historic site. She said that can be a time-consuming process, and the regulations are strict.

“It’s just sad to see bits of history disappear because nobody will know about it anymore,” Howard said.