Auto Shop Catches Fire in Athens

Photo sent to NewsChannel 9 by viewer Linda McEachin Crowder.

The McMinn County Sheriff's Department confirms that a business in downtown Athens went up in flames Friday morning.

Viewers alerted NewsChannel 9 to the fire, saying it was fully involved at the Friendly City Auto Care & Towing.

The business is located at 703 W Madison Avenue in Athens.

We have confirmed that no one was hurt.

Athens City Fire Chief Jim Dyer says the fire started around 6 a.m., and quickly spread.

Dyer says firefighters "brought everybody in" to help get the fire under control.

There were four cars inside the building that caught fire, along with lots of gasoline and motor oil.

Dyer says the building was built in the 1950s, and had been added onto several times.

Dyer says the metal roof kept the flames from spreading, but also made the fire hard to get to.

The fire caused hazardous material spills as well.

"Most of our fires are residential in nature. This is our second commercial fire this year. We had one last year. This is not what we normally do. This taxes our system," Dyer said.

No one was inside at time of fire. Dyer says the building is a total loss. He says the investigation may take two or three days.


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