Fire erupts overnight at Hwy 17 auto financing store - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Fire erupts overnight at Hwy 17 auto financing store

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(Source: Jimmy Watson) (Source: Jimmy Watson)
(Source: Jimmy Watson) (Source: Jimmy Watson)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Investigators are looking into the cause of a fire that erupted overnight at an auto financing store on Highway 17. 

Police had responded to an alarm call at Yes Guaranteed Auto Financing on Hwy 17 near the Chatham Pkwy intersection around 11:30 p.m. Sunday after a broken window was reported there. Soon after, someone called 9-1-1 to report a structure fire at the same address. 

Southside firefighters say they saw flames and heavy smoke upon arrival. They say putting out the fire was a challenge because the business had several roofs. 

"Normal investigation, nothing suspicious at this time. Again, there was bad weather in the area, as every night this week and coming up, so it's a normal investigation," said Gary Jarriel, SouthSide Fire/EMS spokesman.

From the outside the damage doesn't look too bad, but flames tore through the inside of the building. Debris is scattered in and around the shop. The store manager says it's heartbreaking but some things, like business files and records, were able to be saved.

"Still just a lot of time and work to put all this back together and see what records are salvageable and what aren't. There's a lot that's involved with all the contracts and everything else so, yea it's pretty tough news but we're pretty resilient, so hopefully we'll be able to figure everything out and get back in business," says Doug Caminiti, General Manager.

No one was hurt and fire crews were able to make sure none of the cars were damaged. They suspect lightning caused the fire but the official cause is still under investigation.

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