Early morning fire damages Catoosa County business - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Early morning fire damages Catoosa County business

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CATOOSA COUNTY, GA -

Investigators are working to determine what sparked a fire that burned more than 25 cars at a Catoosa County business at LaFayette Road and Cloud Springs Road.

Captain Tom Lowrance with Fort Oglethorpe Fire & Rescue said the fire started at Randy Bohannon Used Auto & Truck Parts around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

When firefighters first arrived at the salvage yard, they saw flames 30 to 50 feet high.

"Very, very intense flames. Very intense flames," Craig Scheer who saw the fire said.

An orange glow and a plume of smoke greeted Craig Scheer from his front porch overnight.

He decided to jump in his truck and drive to see where the flames were coming from.

"It smelled awful like burning rubber and paint and everything like that. You feel the heat off of it from a good distance away," Scheer said.

Fort Oglethorpe firefighters arrived at the salvage yard not knowing what they were up against.

"It was a little hectic at the beginning because we were trying to figure out how to get access to the fire. It was so far back in the junkyard. It took us a little while to get in there," Capt. Tom Lowrance said.

He said they had to move some cars out of the way. When they reached the back of the property, they found dozens of cars burned.

Safety was their first concern.

"We did have several explosions going off in the process of us accessing the fire which was the shock absorbers, the bumper shocks, stuff like that were going off," Capt. Lowrance said.

The owner of the salvage yard didn't want to go on camera, but called what happened bizarre. He estimates his losses at $50,000.

Fire crews were able to get the fire under control by 4:30 a.m.

Witnesses like Scheer are happy to hear everyone is safe.

"I am very glad no one was hurt," Scheer said.

Right now, firefighters aren't sure what caused the fire.

When Channel 3 asked the owner how he felt about what happened, he said "life goes on."

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