Crews working fire at Bethlehem Baptist Church - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Investigation in Berkeley County after Masonic lodge burns and church window broken

Posted: Updated:

A fire in the Alvin community in Berkeley County is being investigated by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. A 2-story Masonic lodge building burned completely through the roof of the building.

It's not just what happened at the lodge, but also what happened at the church across the street that leads some to believe the fire may be an arson.

The Prince Hall Masonic Lodge #193 suffered extensive damage. The fire started some time after five o-clock. Chief Peter Prioleau of the Alvin Volunteer Fire Department said, "we had some good response from mutual aid fire departments. We usually work with mutual aid teams."

Departments in St. Stephen, Macedonia, Bonneau and Santee Circle all helped put out the fire.

At the same time as the Masonic lodge fire, an outer window at the Bethlehem Baptist Church across from the lodge was discovered broken.

The two incidents shocked church leaders like the Chairman of the Church Board of Trustees, Ervin Brown, "I really couldn't believe it. When they called me on the phone and told me about it, I said no, this can't be true. Because this is a very knit community."

Michael Beauford lives right across the street from the church. At around 5:15PM, he says he saw two men in the parking lot of the church, "and then I missed them, and I look(ed) again, and they were in the cemetery. It wasn't two minutes later, I heard my neighbor screaming. When I heard her screaming she said, ‘Them guys was beating on the window of the church,' and she said it looked like there's a fire out there… then I went out in the field, and I saw the lodge hall was burning."

Beauford grabbed a phone to call 911, "I saw one of the guy running, the shortest one, apparently the taller one was in front of him, but they were running. This building was in flame then."

In addition to being the fire chief, Chief Prioleau is also the Secretary of the lodge, and a deacon at the church.

He says he hopes they find whoever did this, "hopefully they'll get to the bottom of this. We just pray for the people that did it. That they might find some comfort, or maybe they need help."

If you have any information on what happened, call Crimestoppers at 554-1111, or log on to www.5541111.com.

 

  • Colleton Solar Farm: A ray of hope for South Carolina

    Colleton Solar Farm: A ray of hope for South Carolina

    Colleton Solar Farm: A ray of hope for South Carolina

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:11 AM EDT2014-08-30 06:11:46 GMT
    It's a farm, just outside of Walterboro, that is unique for the Colleton County area. This farm doesn't have any animals and it provides energy. Those who support solar energy say the Colleton Solar Farm is not only providing a ray of hope for the county but also South Carolina. The 14 acre space, just off of interstate 95 was once used for agricultural purposes, according to Mark Walling with Coastal Electric Cooperative. With more than 10,000 solar panels, and currently the largest to dat...
    It's a farm, just outside of Walterboro, that is unique for the Colleton County area. This farm doesn't have any animals and it provides energy. Those who support solar energy say the Colleton Solar Farm is not only providing a ray of hope for the county but also South Carolina. The 14 acre space, just off of interstate 95 was once used for agricultural purposes, according to Mark Walling with Coastal Electric Cooperative. With more than 10,000 solar panels, and currently the largest to dat...
  • Heavy traffic expected in the Carolinas this Labor Day Weekend

    Heavy traffic expected in the Carolinas this Labor Day Weekend

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:12:40 GMT
    Well it's a bittersweet time of year, Labor Day weekend is upon us...and for many people traveling in the Carolinas, expect heavy volume for most of the weekend.Caroline McClellan drove her and her two young boys from Charlotte to Charleston on Friday afternoon and she says the roads were rough. "We've had a couple of spots where we had to slow down. There were a couple of wrecks. We had to slow down to bumper-to-bumper complete stops for about 20 minutes at a time, and we had two stints of t...
    Well it's a bittersweet time of year, Labor Day weekend is upon us...and for many people traveling in the Carolinas, expect heavy volume for most of the weekend.Caroline McClellan drove her and her two young boys from Charlotte to Charleston on Friday afternoon and she says the roads were rough. "We've had a couple of spots where we had to slow down. There were a couple of wrecks. We had to slow down to bumper-to-bumper complete stops for about 20 minutes at a time, and we had two stints of t...
  • Blitz On 2 - Week 1 High School Football schedule & scores

    Blitz On 2 - Week 1 High School Football schedule & scores

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:03 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:03:39 GMT
    Blitz On 2 Week 1 all the high school football highlights from around the Lowcountry.Blitz On 2 Week 1 all the high school football highlights from around the Lowcountry.
    For all the High School Football highlights from around the Lowcountry tune in to Blitz On 2 with Brendan Clark Friday night at 11:10 p.m. only on News 2.
    For all the High School Football highlights from around the Lowcountry tune in to Blitz On 2 with Brendan Clark Friday night at 11:10 p.m. only on News 2.
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.