By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
It happened just after noon at Weaver Automotive on New Bethel Church Road off State Route 320 in Carnesville.
Kent Rothwell is one of the co-owners of Weaver Automotive.
Rothwell said they believe the fire started with a fuel tank in a section of the plant where they disassemble vehicles.
“I don’t have all the details yet but it started in one of our dismantle bays and somehow the fuel tank caught on fire,” he said late Monday afternoon. “Then it spread quickly throughout the building. We were fortunate that we did not have any injuries.”
Rothwell said all 45 employees got out safely and he adds they were also able to save most of their computer equipment.
Firefighters, like Mark Barrett, Double Churches Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief, said the building was fully involved when they arrived.
“When I got here it was fully involved,” Barrett said. “We got the request for more departments and we went from there.”
Garren Hall is the chief of the Bold Springs Volunteer Fire Department and an EMT with the FranklinCountyEMS.
He said firefighters from multiple departments answered the call Monday.
“Bold Springs, Double Churches, City of Carnesville, City of Lavonia, City of Toccoa, Sandy Cross, Red Hill, and Franklin Springs had some people here,” Hall said. “There were eight departments here and 13 trucks with about 60 firefighters.”
Weaver Automotive sells auto parts to the professional body shop industry as well as to the private sector.
With three locations, two in Atlanta and one in Charlotte, NC, Rothwell says they plan to continue their day-to-day operations.
“We’ve got multiple locations,” he said. “We’re getting the assets at the other locations to take up the slack from this location and we should be back to normal by 8a Tuesday morning.”
Firefighters worked until late Monday evening putting out hotspots.
At one point, they used a back hoe to take down part of the front of the building to get at fire still smoldering inside the walls of the building.