CLARKESVILLE - In Clarkesville, where a section the downtown square was heavily damaged by fire late Wednesday night, it's no wonder tensions ran high when firefighters were called to another downtown fire Saturday night.
Capt. Jonathan Knight of Clarkesville Fire Department said firefighters were called to a possible commercial fire at the Habersham Theater on Washington Street, just off the Square, at 6:07 p.m.
"We had arcing from the marquee in front of the theater," Knight said. "We were able to hit it with an ABC extinguisher and knocked down a little bit of fire. We secured the power to the building and we were able to extinguish what fire we did have."
Still, almost a half dozen fire trucks were on scene until power to the theater building was secured and there was no further fire.
Habersham Community Theatre President Justin Dudkiewicz praised the response of the fire department.
"A passerby saw it and called 9-1-1 and they responded with many fire trucks, and we're very, very grateful that the fire department came out as quickly as they did and they care enough about us to try to make sure that we're ok," Dudkiewicz said.
Asked how he felt as he drove into Clarkesville and saw all the fire trucks and flashing lights Saturday night, Dudkiewicz said, "It's that heart in the gut kind of feeling that you just know, especially since we've had this recent incident on the Square. We love our town, our Square. You just don't want to see anything else happen."
Knight explained what firefighters did after extinguishing the initial fire.
"We've pulled the sign apart and made sure we had no extension of fire in any other part of the building," Knight said.
In the meantime, power will remain off to the structure until the city's code enforcement officer can inspect it, and an electrician can do a complete evaluation of the electrical system.
Hazel Cording of WCHM contributed to this report.