Fire Guts Stephens Co. Industrial Building

heavywood fireThe investigation is getting underway to try to find out what caused a fire that destroyed a Stephens County industrial building on Saturday.

The fire took place at Heavywood Furniture on Industrial Boulevard.

Carnes Creek Volunteer Fire Chief Jody Marcus said crews responded during the 10 a.m. hour on Saturday.

“We initially had reports of smoke in the area,” said Marcus. “Law enforcement came and verified it was the business. About the same time, 911 center received an automatic alarm to this address. We had three departments initially responding. Upon arrival, they had heavy smoke coming from the building. They had to actually force entry on the gate to get in to the property. We have just been battling heat and smoke to get inside the metal building to take care of the fire.”

Marcus said crews from throughout Stephens County responded to assist in putting out the blaze.

Those departments included Carnes Creek, City of Toccoa Station 10, Eastanollee, Big Smith, New Hope, and Shiloh, said Marcus.

Also, Oconee County, South Carolina brought ventilation fans, said Marcus, and the Stephens County Road Department brought a track hoe to assist.

Marcus went on to say that the other departments that did not respond helped cover the rest of the county while crews remained on the scene throughout the day Saturday.

Those firefighters spent all day Saturday on scene, fighting not just the fire, but the summer heat.

Temperatures in Toccoa reached the 90s Saturday.

Marcus said the heat posed yet another challenge for firefighters.

“It has been rough on firefighters, trying to stay hydrated,” said Marcus. “Our gear protects us from heat but it also holds the heat and humidity in.”

Flames gutted the whole building.

Marcus said the State Fire Marshal’s Office will be called in for the investigation into determining a possible cause.