City facing fines following Allen Benedict deaths, evacuations
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO)–A judge has fined Columbia Housing more than $11,000 for safety violations that took place at Allen Benedict Court in January of 2019.
Columbia Housing faced 26 citations Wednesday in municipal court, and chose to plead guilty to 24, resulting in a $470 fine for each ticket. Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says the new leadership team has been more cooperative with following fire safety, but says Wednesday’s hearing shows that no one is exempt from following fire codes.
Some of the issues law enforcement discovered at Allen Benedict Court include exposed wires, inadequate smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, no fire extinguishers, faulty stairwells, and old appliances. The new leadership team at Columbia Housing says they have installed a carbon monoxide detector in every housing unit with gas appliances. This comes after two men died as a result of carbon monoxide at the complex in January 2019, which led to more than 400 people being displaced from their homes.
Allen Benedict Court Apartments are scheduled to be demolished in April.