Massive fire destroys Bartow County auto shop

Fire investigators are working to determine what sparked a fire that destroyed an auto shop.

Dramatic video showed the scary moments the massive fire ripped through KO Auto shop in Cartersville Saturday afternoon.

"We had heavy black smoke in the area when we were responding and by the time our crews got on scene the building was fully involved," Fire Chief Dwayne Jamison said.

According to Bartow Fire Chief Dwayne Jamison, the fire started around noon and said there were several employees inside at the time.

"They noticed fire in the corner of the building and grabbed fire extinguishers. They spent three to four fire extinguishers trying to control it then backed off and called 911," Dwayne Jamison said.

Jamison said the fire spread quickly because of the oil, gas and other flammable liquids inside.

The building and everything inside, including nearly ten cars, were destroyed.

"A lot of people were walking up to see if their cars were inside or in the parking lot or if their keys were inside. That’s the situation I’m in. My keys were inside but my truck was outside," Josh Heimenan said.

Josh Heimenan rushed to see if his truck was damaged after he dropped it off overnight for service.

​Even though his truck and several others ​were outside,  the intense flames and heat ​left them damaged too.

Those around town say the business was a staple in the community.

"It’s been here for 30 years. We’ve lived there the past 4 years and this is who I’ve gone to every time for my car and my wife’s car," Heimenan said.

Officials said fire crews will be checking the building around the clock to make sure the fire doesn’t rekindle.

The Public Works Department and an environmental team were brought in because of all the chemicals. Officials want to prevent the runoff from the fire going into the drains.

Officials have not released a cause for the fire.

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