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No injuries in Rock Hill business fire

By Jonathan McFadden
jmcfadden@heraldonline.com
GAO17BRH2.3
John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
Firefighters respond to a blaze Thursday morning on Albright Road in Rock Hill.

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An overnight fire consumed and destroyed the Rock Hill Tire Company building early Friday morning.

Crews were called to the Albright Road business at about 2:50 a.m., and could see flames rising from the roof, said Rock Hill Fire Battalion Chief Rusty Myers. It took firefighters nearly 45 minutes to extinguish the flames.

The building was destroyed, he said, but officials do not yet have a estimate in damages. No injuries were reported.

The fire briefly shut down roads, but they have since reopened.

Firefighters won't be able to determine a cause for a while, Myers said mid-morning. The contents of the business, which included tires and other combustible materials, made it difficult for firefighters to contain hot spots. They used a track hoe to knock down the wall of the business.

By 8:30 a.m., firefighters were dousing burning rubber and remnants of the business with foam and water. The roof is gone, and what's left behind includes twisted metal, burnt tires and charred walls.

The business does not have insurance, Myers said.

Early Friday, employees stood by as fire officials searched the wreckage.

Mechanic Bernard Agurs said he hoped to find his tools. Agurs has worked at the business for two years, and said the fire comes at a devastating time just before the holidays.

"It won't ruin Christmas, but I got nothing," Agurs said.

Another employee, John Douglas, brother of the owner, said the tire company has been in the community for over 30 years.

Douglas said workers don't know what happened. Typically employees turn off the heat compressor every night before leaving.

The company had planned a pot luck lunch for employees today to celebrate the holidays.

Check back for more details on this developing story.

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