Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The Richland County Sheriff's Department says arson is likely responsible for a three-alarm blaze damaging severalstoresoff Two Notch Road.

Calvin Priester owns a health and wellness center called Life Change in the Spring Valley Commons Shopping Center.

But this morning, his two years of hard work went up in smoke.

"When I turned the corner I saw that it was ours, and we were still on the phone. I was like, 'Hey man, you need to get up here,'"he said.

Priester says a friend called him around 5 this morning after he saw reports on tv about the fire.

And soon the word started to spread.

"It was early in the morning, all the business owners were kind of chaotic,"Priester said."It's people trying to understand whatwasgoing on. Still don't really know what's going on too much."

The ColumbiaFire Department estimates the fire caused $1 million worth of damage.

"I think one of the Fire Marshalswas allowingpeople to go in that had less damage than other people. I haven't been allowed in my store yet, so I don't know if that's a good signor a bad sign," Priester said.

Soon after speaking with News19, Priester and other store owners were able to see if they could salvage some items.

Priester says the only thing to do now is move on.

"It's nothing to fret about. It ain't going to change it. The fire not going backwards, so there's nothing to fret about," he said.

Anyone with any information regarding this incident should contactCRIMESTOPPERSat1-888-CRIME-SC.

You can alsoe-mail a tipby

There is also the option of sending a text, inby texting "TIPSC"plus yourtip informationtoCRIMES (274637). Either way you choose, your identity will remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Read or Share this story: