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No injuries in structure fire on North Walnut St. in Statesboro
Chief: Cause of fire unknown, at this time
Fire Thursday
The Statesboro Fire Department extinguished a fire in a two-story building on North Walnut Street Thursday morning. - photo by JIM HEALY/staff

             The cause of a Thursday morning fire in a two-story building on North Walnut St. in Statesboro is undetermined, but fire officials do not suspect arson.
        "We are confident it is not a malicious act," Statesboro Fire Chief Tim Grams said. However, "We believe it started in an upstairs bedroom, but we don't know what started it."
        No one was injured in the blaze, as the building, part of Willingway Hospital's Women's Residence, was vacant at the time, except for a cat and a Guinea pig, who were carried outside, unharmed, he said.
        Grams said fire units arrived on the scene shortly after receiving a 911 call at 9:45 a.m. about smoke coming from the two-story building, which is next door to the Bulloch County Annex government building on North Main Street.
        "We observed smoke coming from the second story," Grams said. "We were able to enter the building and extinguish the fire fairly quickly."
        As a precaution, workers in the building closest to where the fire occurred were evacuated, but returned inside by 10:25 a.m.
        The house suffered substantial damages, but quick reaction and response saved a great deal of the building's contents, Grams said.
        "It is an older building, which is usually quite dangerous for us."
        Due to the heat of the day, firefighting crews were rotated to avoid any potential issues with dehydration or heat exhaustion.
        Grams said Bulloch County Fire Station 9 assisted in battling the fire.

            Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon contributed to this article.
        Jim Healy may be reached at (912) 489-9402.


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