Crime & Public Safety

Laundromat fire deemed suspicious

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a drycleaning establishment on Palmetto Bay Road on Monday evening.
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a drycleaning establishment on Palmetto Bay Road on Monday evening. Jay Karr

A fire Monday at the recently closed Great American Cleaners on Palmetto Bay Road on Hilton Head Island is being investigated by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

The fire did not appear to be accidental because the flames began on the back porch, according to Joheida Fister, fire marshal for the Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue Division.

Two witnesses told deputies they saw a man leaning on a taxi outside the building and watching the fire about 5 p.m., according to a Sheriff's Office report. When the first emergency vehicle arrived, the man jumped into his cab and sped away, driving over some bushes, the report said.

Firefighters worked through the night to extinguish the fire. Fister said she unsure about the extent of the damages, but said the roof collapsed.

Additional details were not available Wednesday from the Sheriff's Office.

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