Empty Albany business goes up in flames - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Empty Albany business goes up in flames

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Massive flames devoured every inch of the structure on 107 Philema Road. Armed with fire hoses aimed from every angle, fire crews worked feverishly to take those flames down.

"Upon arrival the crews found the building fully involved. It was coming out of all the windows and the roof. It had been burning for some time before it was noticed evidently," said Albany Fire Chief, James Carswell.

After several hours and hundreds of gallons of water later, all that is left is the shaky foundation. "We are concerned about the structural integrity itself, and we are going to be real careful to make sure no one gets hurt," said Carswell.

The old nightclub imploded in on itself after the floor collapsed into the basement, and the roof tumbled in to what used to be the floor. So much debris has piled up in this structure that firefighters say it could take several days before they find out if anyone was trapped.

"One of our greatest fears is that there may have been some vagrant inside of it. As the building cools and we are able to get more access to it, we'll be able to see if anyone was inside during the fire," said Carswell.

That is also when they may be able to determine the cause of the fire. "The utilities were disconnected. So whatever caused it, from our perspective, is someone trying to stay warm or a malicious act," said Carswell. 

Now investigators are left with the long and painstaking task of carefully going through this debris hoping whoever started this was able to make it out alive.

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