Brush fire in Aiken damages family business

AIKEN, SC (WFXG) - A brush fire out of Aiken near Talatha Church Road put an auto shop in danger Sunday.

The good thing is that no one was hurt, but the damages left by the flames on this family-owned business may never be replaced.

"Don't look like I have nothing left," said owner Darren Watkins. "It's just all gone."

"I opened up my door, and I see a bunch of black smoke coming out of the paint room," said  John Blackwood, the shop's night watchman.

Blackwood was in the small camper near the shop that he calls his home. If it wasn't for the loud noise, the flames would've not only done more damage but possibly taken his life as well.

"It sounded kind of like that earthquake we had the other day. That's what it sounded like," Blackwood said.

The assistant fire chief on the scene said it could've been a lot worse.

"You could've had a woods fire and everything else with it, but we pretty much got it contained pretty quick we got all the surrounding area."

Owner Darren Watkins said it would take a long time to get his business back up and running.

"I don't know if it'll ever be back ready," Watkins said. "I mean all my paperwork, my license everything was in my office. My whole office burnt, my title and everything."

The auto shop was a family business that has been around for more than 20 years.

As of right now, there's been no information released on the cause of the fire.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.