Arson ruled out in Fairburn fire

Thu, 02/18/2010 - 4:35pm
By: Ben Nelms

The fire last week that destroyed several of Fairburn’s historic two- and three-story downtown businesses at Campbellton Street and U.S. Highway 29 is still under investigation, but fire Chief Jody Weller said Wednesday that arson has been ruled out as a cause.

Weller said that the determination of the cause of the fire is still being reviewed by investigators, though they have ruled that the fire was not of a suspicious nature and that arson was not the cause of the blaze that destroyed Casablanca Restaurant, the Fairburn antique mall, a hair salon and the second floor of Oz Pizza.

Weller said investigators are looking at couple of different sources for the fire that appears to have started in the hair salon adjacent to Oz Pizza.

Oz employees reported smelling smoke in the early morning hours. Firefighters reported having the fire contained by 5 a.m. despite high winds and freezing temperatures.

“The fire was substantially blowing out of the second story windows,” said department spokesperson Stephan Hood.

Aside from the strong winds, firefighters had to avoid bricks flying as potions of the 100 year-old structure began to collapse.

Hood said the roof and second floor of Oz Pizza, situated on the corner, was lost to the blaze. The condition of the building occupied by other businesses was even more devastating. The salon, antique mall and offices on the rear of the building were gutted, as was much of the three-story part of the building that was home to the Casablanca Restaurant.

Other departments responding to the fire included units from Peachtree City, Fayette County, Palmetto, Union City, Clayton County, Fulton County and Atlanta.

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