A massive fire destroyed a boat and sports vehicle business early Tuesday morning on U.S. Highway 341, the towering flames fueled by several 55-gallon drums of high octane racing gas, Battalion Chief Hal Herndon said.
The explosive fire at Bargeron Powersports and Marine of Brunswick drew five Glynn County fire trucks and more than two dozen Glynn County firefighters into an intense firefight, Battalion Chief Tommy Dixon said. The business, located at 5263 U.S. 341 just north of Interstate 95, was declared a total loss, Dixon said.
A Glynn County police patrolman first noticed the fire at 5:25 a.m. and reported it to the Glynn County Fire Department, Dixon said.
Firefighters arrived quickly, but had to disarm a 7,000-volt security fence to get inside and engage the fire, he said. Once inside, firefighters spent about 90 minutes battling the flames before bringing the fire under control, Dixon said. Firefighters remained on scene throughout the day, containing flare-ups.
“We are finally leaving now,” Herndon said at 3:08 p.m. Inspectors from the state Fire Marshal and the federal department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on scene Tuesday afternoon, trying to determine a cause, Herndon said.
Southbound U.S. 341 was closed to one lane only during the morning while firefighters battled the blaze.
“We have it contained but we will be here for a while putting out hot spots,” Dixon said at around 7:35 a.m. “This place is pretty much a total loss.”
A large outdoor storage building containing numerous All Terrain Vehicles was completely destroyed. The main building also was destroyed, Dixon said. The roof collapsed on both buildings during the course of the fire, he said.
Firefighters used a ladder truck, four fire engines and some 25 firefighters, including volunteers, to bring the blaze under control. Adding to the intensity of the fire was the explosion of at least three 55-gallon containers of high octane racing fuel kept in the storage building, Herndon said. The fiberglass and plastic in the boats and vehicles also fed the flames, as did rubber tires, he said.
It appears all the fuel was stored properly, Herndon said.
“It was fueled heavily by gasoline, fiberglass, canisters of fuel,” Dixon said. “I don’t know what all was in there. They lost a lot of ATVs, motorcycles.”