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Tuesday, 26 July 2016 20:19

Arson Suspected in Collision Repair Shop Fire

Arson Classic Concepts Collision

Photo credit: Larry Stanford

CONYERS — Investigators from the Rockdale Sheriff’s Office and Rockdale Fire and Rescue are looking into a possible arson fire that seriously damaged Classic Concepts Collision and Restoration on Old Covington Highway early Monday, July 25.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a fire call at the location about 2:07 a.m. When the first deputy arrived, he found the metal frame building fully engulfed in flames. Old Covington Road and Lake Capri Road were shut down to allow fire services access to the building.

The owner of Pawn Depot, located across Old Covington Highway from Classic Concepts, notified 911 that their surveillance video had captured a vehicle leaving the area quickly after an explosion took place at the front door of Classic Concepts.

The collision repair shop is owned by brothers Sidney and David Pirtle. They have been in business there for three years. Sidney Pirtle said they feel the fire was intentional.

“We feel like someone did this,” Pirtle said. “We think they threw one of those (Molotov) cocktail things through the front office, and it took out everything.”

The fire completely destroyed the office area, and the garage area sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage. Pirtle estimated the fire did more than $500,000 damage to the building and its contents. Fortunately, the business is insured.

Of the 20 vehicles they had inside the building, only one was lost to the fire. Monday afternoon, the Pirtle brothers and their employees removed the remains of the burned car from the building and began moving the other vehicles and the equipment they could salvage to another location nearby. They said they hoped to have the damaged building repaired and back open as soon as possible.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office at (770) 278-8000.

We would like to thank Rockdale Citizen for reprint permission.

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