SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Fire crews have extinguished a major fire at Keller’s Flea Market on Highway 17.
Chatham Emergency Services posted on Facebook to warn drivers to avoid the area as crews worked to extinguish the blaze. Chatham Fire, Savannah Fire, Pooler Fire, and Garden City Fire were all on the scene and more than 80 firefighters battled the blaze.
According to Chatham Fire, the main building at Keller’s caught fire. There are no reports of anyone inside or any injuries. The call came in around 11:41 a.m. Tuesday and the first engine was on scene just two minutes later.
Chatham County Police closed one of the northbound lanes at Highway 17 and the Highway 204 on-ramp while crews continued to monitor the fire. Officers were out directing traffic in both the north and southbound lanes, and there was a heavy police and fire presence in the area.
Keller’s Flea Market posted to their Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.
Crews were also bringing in water from outside sources to support fire hydrants in the area.
Chatham Emergency Services Chief Operations Officer Phil Koster says they rely on each other and other departments in situations like this, no matter what department it is, to make sure the safety of citizens is the main priority.
“Every fire department plans for their area, but once in a while when you have a significant structure fire such as this one, where it engaged multiple resources it’s really good to have the firefighters working side by side whether it’s Savannah, Pooler, Chatham Fire or a Garden City patch on their uniform. They are working side by side to make sure that everybody is safe and that the fire is extinguished properly,” said Koster.
Koster says part of the building did collapse. However, he said the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined because it’s too early to tell.
Many watched their merchandise go up in flames. Many vendors are now left with nothing.
The vendor of Nathan’s Corner sold antiques, collectibles, silver coins and anything else. Now, they are left with nothing.
We talked to one of the associates involved with Nathan’s corner Will Humpheries. He says though they lost everything, vendors down here are like a family and they will get through it and start over.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize the work that goes into it, you know, the stuff doesn’t just fall out of the sky. It’s a lot of work to get it, to collect it, to pay for it and then to resell it. It’s a process and it’s a long process and when something like this happens, it’s devastating. It’s hard to recoup,” Humphries said.