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Fire Consumes Fort Valley Business | News

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Fire Consumes Fort Valley Business
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A fire consumed a family-owned business in Fort Valley this morning.

It took firefighters about two-and-a-half hours to extinguish the flames inside HLS Cabinets. 

"The smoke was real real sooty black. And it was just bellowing out of there, and it was going up in the sky like big rain clouds. And I said, how can there be such rain clouds on such a sunny day," says Gloria Aikens, who lives a few houses down from the business. 

A fire raged inside the metal building around 9 a.m. Both city and county firefighters responded.

"They called for mutual aid because of the size of the fire. Both of them came out and assisted each other," says Fort Valley public safety director Lawrence Spurgeon.

The cause is still unknown, but no one was injured.

Fort Valley firefighters arrived on scene first, followed closely by Peach County firefighters. It took them about 45 minutes to contain the fire.

"I turned around and I called my daughter and I told my daughter, girl we got a fire up here. She's like what? And I said, yeah girl, they've got trucks up here and everything," Aikens said as she pulled out her phone to capture pictures. 

Spurgeon said the owner was in a small building next to the business when the fire started. 

"He's sorry for his loss. We've talked to him. It's a sad day for him, he's been in business since 1996," Spurgeon says of the owner, Hilton Smith.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire. 

Becky Shelley, a family friend who talked to the owner, says the fire started in the back of the building because of a heater or stove explosion.

Spurgeon will not confirm.

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