Fire destroys two businesses

Authorities believe it was accidental
Feb. 13, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

Investigators still are trying to determine what caused a fire on National Highway Monday night that destroyed two home improvement businesses.
Thomasville Fire Department received a call at 11:59 p.m. Monday regarding a fire at 1100-A National Highway. Firefighters had the situation under control in about an hour but not before the blaze left the building a total loss. Two businesses shared the location and lost everything inside.
"We're still conducting the investigation," said Fire Inspector Rocky Watts. "We do think it appears to be accidental at this time."
While investigators have yet to pinpoint an exact cause, Watts said the fire could be a result of an electrical issue. Watts said a wood stove was being used improperly due to one business owner having several cars in the building and there are some electrical concerns as well.
"We can't rule out the electrical wiring in that area," Watts said. "There was a stove in the area that we're not sure if it was vented out properly. The heater was not used the past couple of days, but it's in the general area and there were come electrical wiring issues in that area as well."
Neither business owner or the building's owner, Robert Reid Properties, had insurance on the facility, Watts said. The roof collapsed on the 1,800-square-foot building, causing smoke and fire damage to an estimated $125,000 worth of tools, cars and other materials.
"There's not much salvageable," said Watts. "The fire went from one end of the building to the other. At one point we found burnt lawnmowers and weed eaters."
Watts said one of the business owners was using the building as a repair garage and had three cars inside. The two businesses were separated by a partition wall. No one was injured in the fire and the blaze did not affect any other buildings.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.