CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. - Vendors in a Carroll County community are distraught after fire destroyed a flea market early Sunday.
"A friend of mine called and said, the flea market is on fire," said Tim Dyer, owner of the West Georgia Flea Market at Highway 27.
Channel 2's Amanda Cook spoke to the Carroll County Fire Chief Tracy Smith who said the fire started at about 4:30 a.m. The incident was reported by people driving by who saw the flames, he said. The fire shut down part of Highway 27 and kept crews busy for hours.
"The fire traveled there quickly through this building," Bearden said about the incident at the market, affectionately called the "Dirt Mall."
The chief said his crews were able to save about 80 percent of the market, but still, many vendors lost everything. Joe George and his business partner, was among them.
George said he and his partner ran a record store in the market, where many of their own personal records were on display.
"Some of the records I have were some of the first records I ever bought. Saved my allowance to buy them," George said.
"A lot of the stuff we've been collecting since we were teenagers," his business partner said.
Residents said the market is a popular destination for not only surrounding Georgia counties, but Alabama as well.
It's been in Carrollton for decades and many of the vendors have been set up at the market since then. Vendors said Sunday isn't the first time they've dealt with fire.
"I was here the first time they had a big fire about 10 years ago," another vendor said.
Owner Tim Dyer said he plans to rebuild and that he's devastated about the loss for his family, as well as the vendors.
"Everybody please keep them in your thoughts and prayers," he said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.