14 Fire Departments Battle Huge Georgia Blaze

Crews from as many as 14 southeast Georgia fire departments battled a blaze Tuesday that destroyed two buildings of a beauty and barber supply company.

Firefighters were able to prevent the fire at Lady Renee Industries from spreading in high winds to a nearby building that contains chemicals used in the manufacture of supplies such as shampoos and conditioners, officials said.

The blaze erupted in a building where chairs and other furnishings are manufactured about 7 a.m. and also consumed a showroom next door before it was brought under control about five hours later, said Jo Toole, whose family runs the business.

Just two of the seven or eight employees who work in the assembly building were there at the time, and one was injured, Toole said. She said he was taken to a hospital burn center in Augusta with burns to his hands.

The cause of the fire was not determined but it might have been electrical, she said.

Lady Renee, which has been in business for more than 40 years, has about 50 employees overall, Toole said.

"We're going to be handicapped for awhile, but we'll carry on," she said.

Fire departments from Vidalia and Lyons responded, along with one from the Georgia State Prison at Reidsville and another in Montgomery County.

Firefighters were still on hand Tuesday afternoon to guard against flareups, Toole said.

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