Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Waycross Tire Store Burns; Building Considered Total Loss; despite Total Loss, Owner Remains Optimistic about Future

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Waycross Tire Store Burns; Building Considered Total Loss; despite Total Loss, Owner Remains Optimistic about Future

Article excerpt

Byline: GORDON JACKSON

WAYCROSS - A tire and auto repair shop in downtown Waycross was destroyed Monday night by a fire that spread so quickly the building was totally engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived.

Damage was so extensive to the Downtown Auto and Tire Center, located at 515 Tebeau Street, that very little can be salvaged from the rubble, said Waycross Fire Chief David Eddins.

"It was burning from one end of the building to the other," Eddins said of the blaze when firefighters arrived to the scene about 10:30 p.m.

"The building was a complete loss," Eddins said.

Heavy smoke from burning stacks of tires and exploding gas, oil and acetylene tanks made it difficult and dangerous for crews on four trucks to extinguish the flames.

Twelve cars inside the building were destroyed, and nine others in the parking lot were damaged, Eddins said.

But other vehicles in the parking lot were saved when the owners of three different towing companies hauled them a safe distance from the building as firefighters battled the flames. Eddins said the towing companies provided the assistance at no cost.

Firefighters did manage to save a nearby furniture store, though the building did sustain minor water and smoke damage, Eddins said.

It took firefighters about two hours to contain the fire, he said. Crews from two trucks were still at the scene Tuesday afternoon to monitor smoldering piles of tires and douse any flare-ups.

There were no injuries but Eddins said a problem with a kink in a hose may have saved the lives of some firefighters preparing to enter the burning building. He said he was looking for the kink in the tangled mass of hoses when a wall collapsed.

If the hose had not had a kink that affected the water flow, Eddins said he and several other firefighters would have been inside and possibly been trapped.

"It was a close call when the wall collapsed," he said.

A preliminary investigation indicates the fire started near the customer service office inside the store and quickly spread throughout the building, but a cause has not been determined. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.