A fire broke out in a Covington hair salon Monday night, heavily damaging the store and a neighboring flower shop, according to the Covington Fire Department.
Investigations are still ongoing but the fire appeared to be an accident and not arson related, Fire Marshal David Carter said.
Local law enforcement reportedly saw the fire at 3192 Washington Street around 11:30 p.m., according to CFD spokesperson Capt. Rob Christopher.
About 16 firefighters arrived minutes later to find smoke and visible flames. The crew had the blaze under control in 35 minutes. No one was injured in the fire.
The salon and flower shop sustained extensive damage, said Christopher. The hair salon was damaged throughout the entire store and the flower ship had heat and smoke damage in the boutique area.
The fire appeared to have started near the HVAC unit in the back of the hair salon, Christopher said.
"It's one of the long-standing buildings in the city," Christopher said, adding that the building did not have sprinklers. "It's been undergoing remodeling recently."
The salon was part of the shopping area slated to possibly be the location of a new comedy club owned by Jimmy Clark, Jr., who is running for the Democratic nomination to District 3 Newton County commissioner.
In another fire incident, CFD firefighters put out a burning SUV that was apparently set ablaze in an industrial park off Ga. Highway 142 Wednesday evening. A passer-by reported the blaze around 10:37 p.m. on Independence Circle behind Tech Pac.
Though firefighters arrived on scene three minutes after receiving the call and had the fire under control in about 10 minutes, little was left of the vehicle but a shell.
"It was totally burned," said Carter. "It was one of the worst I've seen as far as cars burned."
The vehicle appeared to be a Ford Expedition SUV. The incident is still under investigation, and Carter said he was trying to determine if the vehicle was stolen and is in the process of reviewing nearby video surveillance.
Anyone with information about the fire can call the arson hotline at (678) 625-5050 or leave an anonymous tip online at www.co.newton.ga.us.