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December 7, 2006
Camilla -- Fire crews were on the scene of a huge fire in downtown Camilla Thursday night. Camilla firefighters had to call for back-up, and several other departments rushed to the scene.
The fire started in an empty building but spread to an adjoining storage warehouse and threatened several nearby businesses.
Fire officials were on the scene since 6:30 Thursday evening battling the blaze. The fire broke out at an old building under going remodeling at the corner of Court Alley and Oakland Street. No word on how the fire started, but officials do have the flames contained.
Camilla firefighters were joined by four nearby departments to get this destructive fire under control.
The flames started in a vacant part of a downtown Camilla building, but they spread to an adjoining warehouse where Camilla businessman Ray Dixon stored furniture and hardware that he sells at his Dixon Furniture and Hardware Store.
"I don't know what to think I've never had anything like this happen to us before," said Ray Dixon.
Dixon says that many items on layaway for the holidays were stored at the warehouse. He watched as the flames demolished his building.
Residents say they've never seen such a huge fire in downtown Camilla before.
"There have been a few incidents, but none like this that I've seen," said Arthur Hicks.
"Nothing downtown, nothing like this," said Diane Dixon.
Camilla fire Chief Randy Walker took the job as chief four days ago, and he says his new department was able to work quickly and efficiently with the other departments.
"Large older building, fires tend to spread quite rapidly in them, so I'm very pleased with the operation, being able to contain it to that original building, and protecting the nearby businesses," said Chief Randy Walker.
The fire didn't spare Ray Dixon's warehouse, and now he wonders what he'll do about losing so many items before the holidays.
"We don't know how it started or what. It's burned all my christmas layaway merchandise," said Ray Dixon.
For property owners like Dixon there are many questions about the fire investigators are working to have answered soon.
The State Fire Marshals Office and Camilla Fire Department are currently investigating what started this fire.