Winder fire chief Matt Whiting told a city council committee last week that the June 3 fire on the second floor of a building at the corner of North Broad and Athens streets was a “very close call” that could have been much worse for the downtown business district.
Because the electrical fire broke out during the day when the building was occupied, the fire was quickly noticed and the city’s fire department responded in less than a minute, bringing the flames quickly under control. But Whiting said if the fire had occurred at night and the delay had been just three minutes longer, the fire easily could have spread to old, adjacent buildings. The chief said if it had spread just two doors down to the tall, 1940s-era building that once housed the old Peskin’s Department Store, it could have destroyed the entire block.
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