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Fire destroys Riverdale Family Dollar store

Crews work through night to extinguish hot spots

Photo by Elaine Rackley
The Clayton County Firefighters pulled the front wall off of the Family Dollar store to ensure large water pumps could reached the flames on the inside of the building.
Fire fighters used a blitz nozzle, placed on the ground to battle the blaze.

Photo by Elaine Rackley The Clayton County Firefighters pulled the front wall off of the Family Dollar store to ensure large water pumps could reached the flames on the inside of the building. Fire fighters used a blitz nozzle, placed on the ground to battle the blaze.

RIVERDALE — Clayton County firefighters worked through the night to ensure a Riverdale store would not re-ignite in flames, Tuesday.

The Family Dollar store inside the Pointe South Corners Plaza located on Georgia Highway 85 in Riverdale, was destroyed. It engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene, Clayton County Fire Capt. Walter Barber said. Firefighters placed a fence around the charred remains of the building as a safety precaution.

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Special Photo Clayton County Fire fighters worked to extinguish a fire at a Riverdale Family Dollar store Tuesday.

Clayton County Fire and Emergency Services arrived at the store at 2:07 p.m., four minutes after the call, according to Barber.

Four ladder trucks, seven engine fire trucks, two rescue units, and a special rescue unit responded. There were no injuries reported, he added.

Fire crews remained at the scene at 7:30 p.m., using a blitz nozzle to spray water on the building.

“It was fully involved when we arrived,” Barber said. “Because of the construction of the building, we had to stay within a safe distance to remain outside of the collapse zone. We had to fight the fire from the outside because it was it was too hot and intense on the inside.”

Firefighters removed the face of the building with a “gradall” to gain access into the structure and that accelerated getting the fire out, he said.

“By removing the face of the building that prevented the neighboring units from collapsing which would have caused more damage,” he added. “The crews did a great job containing the fire to one unit and not allowing it to spread to adjacent businesses.”

On the left side of the Family Dollar is a store called “Citi Trends.” On the right side of the building is a nail salon and a Subway restaurant.

Fayette County firefighters responded to the Family Dollar fire as a courtesy to assist the Clayton firefighters, Barber said.

“We’ve had crews monitoring the adjacent buildings for fire spread,” said the fire captain. “We will not know the extent of those damages until fire fighting operations are completed. Crews will remain on the scene all night on fire watch to make sure nothing catches on fire again.”

Barber said more demolition work would have to be done on the remains of the charred Family Dollar store.

“We won’t be able to complete our investigation until the roof has been completely removed,” he added. “The building has to be made safe so investigators can find out the cause of the fire.”