Massive Fire Destroys Auto Recycling Business
January 21, 2015 10:19 am
A Johnston County business was destroyed in a fire Wednesday morning authorities said was sparked by space heaters.
An employee of A & A Auto Recyclers at 694 Bizzell Grove Church Road outside of Micro arrived at work around 9:30am and discovered the 6,000 square foot business was filled with smoke.
The employee opened a door to clear the smoke from the building, but in doing so unknowingly allowed the fire to actively start burning again and to rapidly grow, according to Assistant Johnston County Fire Marshal Kevin Hubbard.
When the first fire engine arrived on the scene, more than half of the building was engulfed in flames.
Crews from the Micro, Selma, Pine Level, and Kenly Fire Departments battled the blaze for nearly two hours before it was brought under control.
Because of the heavy fire conditions, firefighters could not enter the building, but the Selma Fire Department ladder truck was used to spray water into the building from overhead.
Hubbard said the fire likely started by one of two space heaters left in the office. Hubbard said the space heaters were left running overnight so the office would not be too cold for workers Wednesday morning. Officials believe one of the heaters was placed too close to some combustibles, possibly a box filled with paperwork, and ignited.
“Leave your space heaters turned off when not attended,” Hubbard told WTSB News. “And when they are running, don’t leave them too close to any combustibles.”
The business salvaged vehicle parts and stored those parts, including engines, transmissions, and headlights inside. Officials deemed the structure a total loss. Photos by John Payne