Power company accepts some responsibility for daycare fire

By: Jonathan Martin
By: Jonathan Martin

A daycare in Aiken County is back open after power lines fell and caught it on fire June 13.

The power company is now taking on some of the responsibility.

The big question in this fire was who was liable for damages: the owners of the daycare, or the power company? A week later, there is an answer.

"Everything looks good," says Melissa Boyd, owner of King's Kids Daycare. "We're just happy to be back open."

After a rough last week, things are now up and running.

"Everything is repaired, brand new," Boyd says. "You can't even tell anything ever happened."

Last Tuesday night, a power line fell on top of the Belvedere daycare, sparking a fire that tore through the roof. It left a mess and forced the center to close for several days.

Boyd says when the center closed she feared losing some of the 80 kids to other daycares, but good news: all 80 returned.

But the big question for owners was: would the power company, SCE&G, pay for repairs, since their power line was running directly over the building, with trees touching it?

"In the beginning, they wasn't sure what they were going to do, said they needed to do an investigation," Boyd says. "We didn't know where they stood."

News 12 confronted SCE&G officials to ask if they were liable, but got no answer. But Boyd says thanks in part to News 12 staying on the story, they're taking responsibility.

"Since that has happened, they have talked to us, called, and made sure everything was working, and in progress to open the center back up."

The company sent News 12 the following statement:

Unfortunately, we had a line running over the building. Of course, we try to avoid situations where lines run over buildings, but sometimes buildings are built under our existing lines, that was the case here. In any event, were working with the owners of the day care to reach a settlement.

The daycare is asking SCE&G for $25,000 for the repairs. Boyd tells us she's already sent them a bid, and they had no problem with paying that amount.

The power line is no longer hanging over the building; it now runs to the side of it.

SCE&G officials are expected to finalize the settlement during a meeting with the daycare owners June 22.


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