PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) – A building located on U.S. 280 and Lee Road 456 was reported up in flames on Wednesday.
Chief Daniel Sexton of the Smiths Station Fire Department says around 10 a.m. on Wednesday two employees with Superior Gas drove by and saw smoke coming from the business.
The two businesses, Dirt Dobbers and Alabama Rock, sits directly on Hwy. 280. The gas employees turned around, immediately called 911 and saved a bad situation from getting even worse by shutting down gas tanks near the building. Their actions possibly prevented a massive explosion from happening.
There were two employees inside the building who escaped without injuries. The building is home to Dirt Dobbers, a construction business, as well as a rock/landscaping material company. There also used to be a cabinet shop in the building, however the shop was not operational.
Chief Sexton says multiple fire stations and crews have continued to stay at the scene. There have been ambulances on scene as a precaution. So far, no firefighters have been injured while fighting the fire.
The building is now a total loss. Crews have been able to keep the gigantic flames from jumping and spreading to a nearby church and neighborhood.
Chief Sexton says at this point he has no clue how or where the fire started. He says the cause of the fire will be investigated by the insurance company.
Meanwhile, fire crews will remain on site monitoring what's left of the smoldering pile that used to be two businesses.
Gary Mitchell, a friend of the man who owns Dirt Dobbers tells me the owner was here for a while watching. However, he had to leave the scene, saying he couldn't watch all he had worked for and built disappear by burning to the ground.
"Once I got ahold to him on the telephone and told him what was going on, he rushed down here, he told me that he was leaving, everything he owned was right there and he could not stay and watch it," Mitchell said.