100-year-old former plant burns for hours after catching fire in small West Georgia town

POLK COUNTY, Ga. — A building that was built at least 100 years ago in a small Georgia town in Polk County has been burning for hours.

Channel 2′s Candace McCowan was live on WSB Tonight at 11 p.m. in Cedartown along West Avenue where she spoke with witnesses.

The road is closed after being engulfed by flames from a fire at the old Jockey plant on West Avenue on Tuesday afternoon.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

“It was like up in flames, the whole building was up in flames,” said Matthew Raglin, a witness.

“You couldn’t even see the street for the smoke, that’s how black the smoke was,” said Matthew Stroup, another witness.

On Tuesday night, you could still see heavy smoke, and flames, coming from the building.

Cell phone video shows the moments after the massive fire started at this former factory in Cedartown.

“Flames were completely across the road there was some damage to the power lines, damage to the power poles,” said Chief Jamie Newsome with Cedartown Police.

As day turned to night, ladder trucks were brought in to help extinguish the flames and power crews worked to restore power that was knocked out to several businesses and homes nearby.

Fire officials say the Jockey plant closed down years ago and the building was most recently a flea market, but it’s unclear if it was still in operation.

“That was historically the Jockey Plant but it has not been the Jockey Plant for decades. It has most recently been a flea market. My understanding is that it was currently in between usages and is vacant,” said Newsome.

Fire officials still don’t know the cause and said it will likely be Wednesday before the flames are completely out.


Earlier, fire officials told Channel 2′s Candace McCowan that the fire started around 5 p.m.

Just before 8:30 p.m., they told her the fire was contained but still burning and likely would be into tomorrow.

Firefighters have still not been able to get into the building, so it is unclear if anyone was injured in the fire.

No structures aside from the old plant were affected by the fire.

There is currently no timeline for when the road in the area may reopen.

Photos and videos shared with Channel 2 Action News showed a large plume of smoke over the area.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]