Buckhead resident Matt Morgan says he’s heard plenty of sirens whizzing by. But the ones he heard Wednesday night stopped right outside his Peachtree Road home.
“I came outside and heard some popping and noticed the flames were shooting pretty high,” Morgan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It was chaos here for a while.”
Morgan was one of many in the area who watched helplessly as a fire that started in a bicycle shop sent flames up to 15 feet in the air shortly after 8 p.m.
The blaze started at the Peachtree Bikes store, which was closed at the time, according to Battalion Chief Richard Heard with the Atlanta fire department.
“Upon arrival, we encountered heavy flames, and it was definitely a fire that we had to make a rapid attack on,” Heard said.
Firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the bike shop, but other businesses in the small strip mall were damaged by smoke, Heard said. No injuries were reported.
As firefighters poured water on the flames, several small explosions were heard, likely due to the bicycle tires in the shop, Heard said. Power lines in the area were also burned, causing a temporary outage in the area.
Firefighters were expected to remain on the scene for several hours to battle any remaining hot spots.
Sallie Patterson, who owns a family business in the same strip mall, wiped away tears as she watched firefighters extinguishing the flames. Patterson’s store, Woof Gang Bakery and Grooming, has only been open since April, she told The AJC.
“It’s smoke damage, so I don’t know how much can be recovered,” Patterson said.
Peachtree Road was temporarily blocked in both directions near the 2800 block. It was not known late Wednesday what sparked the fire, which remains under investigation.