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Sunday August 2nd, 2015 10:38PM

Investigators probe cause of Stephens County industrial fire

By Rob Moore Reporter
TOCCOA - The cause of a fire that destroyed a Stephens County industry Saturday morning remains under investigation.<br /> <br /> "Seven workers were displaced by the fire at Heavywood Furniture in Toccoa about 10:30 a.m. Saturday," said Glenn Allen, spokesman for Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph T. Hudgens' office.<br /> <br /> "Right now, the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation," Allen said. "The 28,000-square-foot metal building was destroyed by the fire."<br /> <br /> The business was located at 141 Isabel Court, Toccoa, Allen said.<br /> <br /> "It was a metal building with a lot of combustible contents inside," said Chief Jody Marcus of Carnes Creek Fire Department. "We had to deal with extreme heat from the fire itself, but the temperature and humidity also contributed to firefighter fatigue."<br /> <br /> While no firefighters went down with heat-related illness, one was injured.<br /> <br /> "I had one with an injury," Marcus said. "He had to receive some stitches. He had gotten cut by a piece of glass."<br /> <br /> Marcus said 48 firefighters responded, and it took roughly three hours to gain control of the fire.<br /> <br /> "We had a total of seven stations there," Marcus said.<br /> <br /> Those departments included Big Smith, Carnes Creek, Eastanollee, New Hope and Shiloh, as well as Toccoa Fire Department and a crew from Oconee County, S.C.<br /> <br /> "We had to bring a trackhoe in to peel back the metal roof so we could gain access to the hotspots that were smoldering," Marcus said. "It was close to 8 p.m. when we finally shut down the fire operations."<br /> <br /> Marcus said numerous individuals brought drinks and ice to firefighters throughout the day.<br /> <br /> "It was a great outpouring from the community to support our fire operations," Marcus said.
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