JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Authorities are investigating what they determined to be a suspicious fire that burned a historic building on Mosquito Beach last week.

Emergency crews initially responded to a building off Mosquito Beach Road during the afternoon of April 15 for a structure fire.

The building served as a hotel that was being restored through the Historic Charleston Foundation in collaboration with the College of Charleston.

According to the African American Heritage Preservation Foundation, the motel – known as the Pine Tree Hotel – was a popular waterfront space for African Americans to socialize in the early 1950s during segregation.

Charleston County deputies said the building was unoccupied at the time of the fire.

A spokesman for the CCSO, detectives were assigned to investigate the fire based on witness statements that indicated the fire was suspicious in nature. In the report from the sheriff’s office, deputies noted there were footprints seen around the building.

“CCSO has not determined whether the fire was intentionally set,” said officials with the sheriff’s office. “Detectives will continue to actively investigate the blaze.”

There is no word on what caused the fire.