Crews battle early morning fire at former cabinet shop

By: 
STEVE ROGERS
Staff Writer

UPDATE: The fire that destroyed the former Triangle Cabinet and Design building at the intersection of Hazelwood and Payne Field roads just north of West Point early Thursday has been ruled accidental. And crews already are tearing down the 21,000-square-foot metal building a salvaging whatever scrap they can.

Clay County Fire Coordinator B.J. McClenton said investigators determined the fire started in the east end of the building in an area where some work had been done Wednesday. "They think it was accidental and related to that work," McClenton said. The building was owned by Marshall and Jonelle Litwiller. There's no word on what they intend to do with the site.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Flames still are licking at furniture and machinery inside even as crews begin the clean up at the former Triangle Cabinet and Design building at the intersection of Hazelwood and Payne Field Road after the building was virtually destroyed by an early-morning fire.

A passer by reported the blaze at 2:35 a.m. after seeing "a large amount of smoke" coming from the building, Clay County Fire Coordinator B.J. McClenton said.

Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the day controlling hot spots that burned inside the building. Small front-end loaders were used to try to salvage equipment or move it out of the way. The building is expected to be declared a total loss.

McClenton said the cabinet shop had not operated in as many as 15 years and the building had been used mainly for storing farm equipment, furniture and other items. The office area at the front of the building had been used as a church at one point, he said.

According to Clay County Tax Assessor Paige Lamkin, the main building covered almost 21,000 square feet. It is listed as being owned by Marshall and Jonelle Litwiller. The deed was put in their name in 2012, county records show.

Other buildings in the area avoided damage from the fire.

The fire inspector from the Clay County Sheriff's Department, with help from the state Fire Marshal's office, is expected to begin looking for a cause.

Category: