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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 9:05PM

State probing cause of fire that destroyed Alto daycare

By Rob Moore Reporter
ALTO - State fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a longtime Habersham County daycare center near Alto overnight Friday.<br /> <br /> Habersham County Fire Chief Jeff Cain said a neighbor reported the fire at Big Bird's Nest Daycare and Learning Center on Alto-Mud Creek Road.<br /> <br /> "Us, Baldwin and Lee Arrendale [State Prison] fire departments got paged out to it," Cain said. "I think the caller lived next door and had heard some kind of noise that woke him up."<br /> <br /> When that person looked outside, he saw flames coming from the daycare center building, Cain said.<br /> <br /> "We had to end up calling in a couple more stations due to personnel," Cain said.<br /> <br /> Because firefighters made an interior attack on the fire, meaning they went inside the burning building in an attempt to extinguish the flames, they had to be swapped out frequently.<br /> <br /> "They were originally doing an interior until part of the roof started sagging, then we had to go to a defensive mode," Cain said. "They were able to stop it pretty much where they found it."<br /> <br /> Still, the daycare center building sustained extensive damage.<br /> <br /> "They had lost the roof on probably about half of the building, but the building is still standing," Cain said. "It's pretty well gutted as far as smoke and water damage throughout. It's probably going to end up being a total loss."<br /> <br /> "The owners were out of town," Cain said. "They were on vacation."<br /> <br /> An investigator from the state fire marshal's office was on the scene Saturday afternoon.<br /> <br /> Anyone with information that might help investigators determine the cause of the fire is asked to call (800) 282-5804. Calls are taken 24 hours a day.<br />
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