Tragedy strikes local auto business

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Firetrucks were lined down North Broad Street, first responders were on scene and fire fighters sprayed thousands of gallons of water at the flames bursting out of Decatur Auto Parts on Sunday afternoon.

Units arrived on scene around 2:35 p.m. Sunday after receiving a call that the customer-favorite auto store was on fire. Four and a half hours later, the fire was put out. Unfortunately, the majority of the store was burnt.

Spectators lined the streets, filming on their phones as they watched the beloved shop go down in flames.

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Volunteers from Decatur County also arrived on scene to help put the fire out. Seven firetrucks from Decatur County assisted. Three trucks from BPS were also on scene.

According to Bainbridge Public Safety Fire Chief Doyle Welch, there was no evidence of malicious intent involved. When responders arrived on scene, the windows were intact and doors were locked. BPS and investigators from the insurance agencies involved will examine the cause of the fire over the coming weeks, said Welch.

The main fire was deep inside the building, and due to the structural integrity of Decatur Auto Parts being compromised, fire fighters were not able to go inside and attack it. BPS had an excavator move in to demolish portions of the building, opening up space for the water hoses to hit the source of the fire. A ladder truck was able to angle a master stream inside the building.

Various fluids, oils, batteries and other material inside Decatur Auto Parts made the fire difficult to put out, said Welch.

“The building is a total loss,” he added.

Nobody was injured while fighting the fire, aside from small bruises, said Welch. The neighboring buildings only suffered smoke and water damage.