Officials: Arson charges for man who used lit candle to burn down four downtown Bamberg buildings

Four buildings were damaged in a fire that the State Law Enforcement Division now says was an arson.
By  | 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

BAMBERG, SC (WRDW/WAGT) -- A Bamberg man has been arrested and charged in connection with setting a fire that damaged four buildings downtown, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.

Randy Lee Bloom, 50, has been charged with second degree arson in connection with the March 5 fire.

SLED's arrest warrant alleges Bloom walked into one of the buildings, lit a candle, and watched as it set several "combustible materials" on fire without attempting to extinguish the flames.

Bloom, the warrant said, admitted to the crime after video surveillance from the scene showed him entering the building about an hour before the fire was reported by a motorist.

The fire "devastated" Bamberg residents, according to Mayor Nancy Foster.

"It's my town," Foster said. "These buildings are from the 1800's and I'm passionate about them and I would like to see it all restored."

Steven Leninski owns the four buildings that were affected by the fire.

“I ran up and I saw the whole thing burning. The fire was higher than that building, it was unbelievable never seen nothing like it," Leninski said.

He says the two that were completely demolished were filled with antiques.

"Oh I lost $350,000," Leninski said.