Body shop damaged in early morning fire

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 8, 2008

A local auto body shop was heavily damaged early Monday morningwhen a fire broke out at the corner of South First Street andMartin Ave.

Fire department officials said the old Bill’s Auto Glass andTrim Shop building at 119 Martin Ave., which housed a body shop onone side and an upholstery shop on the other, caught fire some timebefore 1:45 a.m. Monday. Firefighters fought the blaze for twohours before returning to the station.

Brookhaven Fire Chief Bob Watts said the fire was visible throughthe roof of the building when firefighters reached the scene. Thebody shop side was a total loss, as were its contents.

“There was one vehicle inside the shop,” said Shift Capt. FurmanFreeman.

Freeman said the upholstery shop sustained smoke damage, but thatit was saved by a brick fire wall that separated the twobusinesses.

Officials said the building is owned by Jim Hart of Brookhaven. Theshop side, which sustained the extensive damage, was rented toSteve Stuart.

“The owner of the shop said he left there about 3 p.m. Friday andthere shouldn’t have been anything in there that would start aburn,” Freeman said.

Watts said the state fire marshal will be in town to conduct aninvestigation into the blaze some time this week.