Laurel Man Suffers Loss in Business Fire - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Laurel Man Suffers Loss in Business Fire

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A Jones Co. business owner lost everything in an early morning fire.

"This stuff can be replaced," Jose's Body Shop Owner Jose Montesdeoca said. "Nobody was hurt. That's the main thing."

He said he received a call from his alarm service around 2:30 a.m. The representative told him the motion sensor in his business was triggered.  Sheriff's deputies went to check it out and didn't find anything, so they left.

At 4:30, he received another call. This time he was told the heat sensor went off.

Dispatch notified Sharon and Shady Grove Fire Depts.

"Upon arrival the found a commercial building fully engulfed in fire," Jones Co. Fire Coordinator Dan McKenna said. 

Additional units from Calhoun, Sandersville and Glade were also called to the scene.

McKenna said volunteers battled the fire for hours, but the structure appears to be a total loss.  He estimated at least $500,000 in damage.

"There were several vehicles inside," McKenna said.  "One of them included a Porche."

Montesdeoca said despite the loss, he is thankful for the volunteers' efforts.

"They worked hard and did the best they could," Montesdeoca said.  "They can only do so much."

He has been in business on Hwy 15 N for 18 years.

"I know he was a well respected, or is a well respected body man in the community and a lot of people rely upon him," McKenna said.  "I understand he has excellent work."

Montesdeoca said he doesn't want to let customers down.  he will rebuild, but in the meantime...

"Tomorrow we'll probably be at the Chris Posey Cheverolet Body Shop because it's empty and we'll rent that place," Montesdeoca said. 

McKenna said volunteer fire departments are the first line of defense in the county, and they help keep insurance premiums low. Currently Jones Co. is short about 150 volunteers, and they're trying to recruit.

"Too many times people say 'Well that's what 911 is for.' Well if everyone takes that attitude, there's no one to help," McKenna said.

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