July 10, 2003
Tifton - A South Georgia business burns to the ground and is regrouping tonight. HBT Supply Store in Tifton caught on fire late Wednesday night, and investigators are still trying to figure out how.
Chris Hammond is Co-Owner of the store and he says "30 years of business gone up in smoke in just a few hours, that's hard to take."
A passerby saw smoke coming from the building and dialed 911, but fire fighters were too late.
Wendell Hall was the shift captain on duty when the fire began. He says crews worked for hours to save the building, but nothing could be salvaged.
Hall says,"My interior team reported that debris began to fall so I evacuated the building. Approximately 10 minutes later, the entire roof system collapsed."
And although 30 years of business may have gone down in just a few hours, he hopes 30 more years will soon begin.
Investigators still don't know how the blaze began. The owners say customers can still contact them at the old store number if they need supplies.
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