A fire destroyed the garage at Red Johnson’s Auto Parts on Clinton Highway in Claxton Wednesday afternoon.
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department reports that when one of their deputies arrived on the scene, the garage was fully engulfed by flames. Several fire units were on the scene working to extinguish the fire, which was reported at 12:30 pm Wednesday.
AJ Gunter, son of owner Arnold Gunter, told deputies that he had returned from lunch to find the PT Cruiser he had been dismantling that morning on fire on a lift in the garage. He reported that he grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to put it out before noticing that gasoline was streaming from the bottom of the vehicle. He yelled at his younger brother and his nephew to leave the building and tried to remove as many flammable items as he could before he was overcome by smoke and forced out of the burning garage.
Arnold Gunter was visibly distraught, according to Deputy Sharon Baird’s report, and said that inside the garage, they had two car lifts, a tire machine (balancer), air compressors and a host of other tools and items used by the business. Gunter said that the approximately 5000-square foot building was insured.
No one was injured in the blaze and the cause of the fire is not known.