UPDATE: Storage building fire forces evacuations
UPDATE: Channel 3 was on the scene of the Ft. Oglethorpe storage facility fire as people sifted through the ashy remains Friday morning.
"No sleep been up pretty much all night," said Jerry Nelson.
It was a restless night for Jerry Nelson. He lost his small electricity business, Jerry Nelson Electricity, in Thursday's fire.
"My truck was in there, all my tools, business materials, everything," he said.
Nelson was back home when he got the call Thursday evening.
"A friend of mine called me and said the storage units were on fire and didn't know if mine was on fire or not cause it was blazing and going real high," he said.
Nelson said the fire wiped out 8 or 9 storage units including his. He estimated he lost up to $80,000 in stuff.
"We're gonna hit the ground running, we're gonna fix it," he said. "They took my tools and materials. but they didn't take my business. That's the way I look at it."
Investigators were on the scene Friday and have not ruled out a cause.
ORIGINAL STORY: State fire investigators are looking for a cause in the fire that forced several Fort Oglethorpe businesses to evacuate Thursday.
The fire broke out in a storage facility on Zachery Lane, off busy Cloud Springs Road.
"I still had foils all in my hair and we had to be evacuated," said Keri Gentry.
Gentry was in the middle of a hair appointment when she was forced outside.
"Somebody came through from one of the other shops and said the building behind was was on fire and that's when we walked outside," she explained, "and that's when we could smell it."
A storage building caught fire, prompting response from multiple agencies.
"The whole roof has collapsed and part of the building has collapsed also," Brittany Pritchard explained, watching the scene unfold.
Intense flames and smoke could be seen blocks away, where residents and business owners were pushed back to watch the fire battle.
"It's very scary," said Pritchard, who owns another salon in the complex, "I heard that the corner of our roof caught fire and they recently just put that out, so I really hope they can save our building."
Pritchard's salon was likely saved.
The neighboring storage business was not as lucky.
Now fire investigators are on the hunt for what sparked the fire.
"The fire seemed to run the roof," described Fire Marshal Glenn Davis, "we have no idea what the cause is."
Davis says state investigators will take it from here, as business owners assess the damage.
"When you get a large complex and it turns around into a large loss we always have the state inspector come out," said Davis.
Fire officials say it's too early to tell how much damage the fire caused.
Water and electricity to nearby businesses were shut off. It's unclear when they will be able to reopen.
Stay with Channel 3 for more on this story.