SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - An early Tuesday morning fire tore through a block of businesses along Ferguson Avenue in Chatham County, destroying several and heavily damaging others.
It took about three hours to contain the blaze according to Chatham Fire, and dozens of firefighters from multiple agencies. On the property were several businesses, a church and some apartments.
The Chatham County Police Department said at least two of the businesses affected by the fire are What’s for Dinner Catering and NonStop Fitness, located in the 8500 block of Ferguson Ave. The two businesses posted about the fire on its Facebook pages:
WTOC spoke with one man with the Savannah Bridge Center, which is a club for bridge players. He says they’ve been playing online with one another for months, but he says now, he’s not sure even if the restrictions with COVID-19 pass when they’ll be able to reopen.
“I would say it going to set it back a year or more. There’s no way this will, you know, whatever, they’re going to have to demolish and build. You can think that’s going to be at least two years before they can rebuild, that’s my guess,” said Perry Trilling, Savannah Bridge Center.
We caught up with one man who lives just behind where the fire was who described what he saw in the early morning hours.
“I thought I had overslept and that the sun was already up, it was that bright. And I could feel the heat from my driveway. And it was the first day of my life I’ve ever seen steel melt from being on fire.” “It breaks my heart, I’ve been praying and crying all day. One of my good friends owns an audio, video company here and he had all of his electronics stored in one of the units in this building. And he’s lost everything," said Robyn Quattlebaum, Owner of Driftaway Cafe.
Officials had Ferguson Ave. closed for most of the day Tuesday, but the road has since reopened.