A fire that damaged a warehouse in the Buckingham Plantation area of greater Bluffton, off U.S. 278, late Wednesday has been deemed suspicious.
Crews received a call at about 9:45 p.m. from a bystander who reported smoke that had drifted from the Anolyn Court warehouse off U.S. 278 to a restaurant on Buckingham Plantation Drive, Bluffton Township Fire District spokesman Randy Hunter said.
When the first engine arrived, firefighters quickly tracked the smoke to the warehouse.
"They were able to make a quick attack and slow the fire down even before the second and third arriving units got on scene," Hunter said.
The flames were extinguished within 30 minutes, but two firefighters remained at the scene overnight, under a new district policy designed to prevent unseen hot spots from flaring up, Hunter said. The fire marshal also remained into the night, working to determine the cause of the fire, which damaged part of the building that houses Clover Glass of Bluffton, Hunter said.
The fire is believed to have originated in a closet inside Clover Glass and spread to the adjoining business, Affordable Auto Repair, the release said. The cause remained undetermined Thursday.
The last employee to leave Clover Glass on Wednesday told deputies all doors were secured when she left for the day at about 7:15 p.m., according to a Sheriff's Office report. The owner of the business agreed.
A man who lives above Affordable Auto Repair also said the doors were closed when he left the building at about 5:15 p.m., and he did not see anyone suspicious in the area, the report said.
However, a fire inspector told deputies the incident seemed suspicious because both of the building's overhead bay doors were open when crews arrived, the report said.
The cause and an estimate of the damage were not available Thursday.
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