CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A large fire destroyed an abandoned business and caused traffic backups in Clayton County.
The fire began just before 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Level 2 Sports Bar and Grill located at 6510 Tara Boulevard.
Northbound lanes of Tara Boulevard were shut down as crews worked to put out the fire.
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There were no injuries reported, according to the Clayton County fire chief.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.
Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach asked authorities if it is possible the fire was set intentionally or started by someone squatting in the vacant building.
“We do have a fire investigator who’s now working to determine the cause and that will be part of it. We will look into all of those questions,” Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services Battalion Chief Laura Richardson said.
Before sunrise, those along Tara Boulevard could first smell the clouds of thick smoke
That smoke got blown over the northbound lanes then police blocked all lanes. At one point just about half mile south of 75 interchange. Then eventually crews opened up one, then two lanes of traffic.
On a normal morning rush hour that would have caused chaos for the commute, but traffic wasn't too bad the morning after Christmas.
The building hasn't been vacant long.
A search online showed events at the bar at the beginning of last summer.
It's unclear how long the fire had been burning. By the time someone finally saw flames shooting through the roof, an off-duty firefighter drove by, pulled over and called it in.
Fire investigators are looking for the cause, as well as who may have had access to the building, or if anyone broke in to escape the freezing cold weather overnight.
Cox Media Group