GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Crews worked early Thursday morning to put out flames of a fast-moving fire at a Gwinnett County strip mall.
Gwinnett Fire & Emergency Services told Channel 2 Action News that several crews were called to 6034 South Norcross Tucker Road in Norcross just after 4 a.m.
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Dozens of firefighters worked for hours to bring the fire under control. Crews used an aerial fire ladder to help douse the flames.
Crews say that when they arrived on scene, flames were shooting through the roof, making it too dangerous to go inside.
Firefighters told Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway that they were also worried the structure could collapse at any moment because of the damage it took.
“The amount heat that center beam took twisted it and so the fire investigator is not able to advance all the way into the structure,” said Firefighter Lt. Donald Strother.
Authorities told Holloway there is one major problem keeping them from determining the cause of the fire and where it started: a large collapsed beam.
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NewsChopper 2 was over the scene on Channel 2 Action News This Morning and several businesses in the strip mall were damaged or destroyed.
The fire destroyed three units, but the total number of businesses is still being determined, fire officials said.
Jorge Arguealo said he rushed over to check on his friend’s business.
“She said, ‘I’m far away in New York, so can you go see if there’s a fire,’” Arguealo said.
Arguealo held back tears while looking at the damage. He said he didn’t want to make that phone call to his friend to tell her that her business was destroyed.
“I feel so sorry for her,” Arguealo said.
There were no reported injuries.
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