Ga. Carpet Store Fire Snarls Traffic

June 26--A fire at a Washington Road carpet store forced police to reroute motorists Thursday afternoon.

The blaze was reported about 3 p.m. inside Fogel's Carpets, 2825 Washington Road. The warehouse of the business caught fire, damaging the rear of the building, according to Richmond County Battalion Chief Bryan McFeely.

The fire -- which remains under investigation -- took about 25 minutes to contain.

"I haven't looked through the warehouse, but I don't believe the damage is too extensive," McFeely said. "As for the connecting businesses, other than smoke drifting inside, I don't see any visible damage."

Forty-eight Richmond County fire workers were called to the fire, McFeely said, and seven businesses were forced to evacuate.

"I was getting my nails done (two doors down) when we started smelling smoke," Sherry Moxley said. "Once we were told to evacuate, we saw two fire trucks respond to the back of Fogel's Carpet."

No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire has not been determined.

According to a statement from sheriff's deputies, traffic was rerouted from Washington Road to Alexander Drive toward River Watch Parkway. Drivers leaving the downtown area from work were urged to take Rive Watch Parkway to avoid traffic congestion. The fire forced the fire department to run equipment across the 2700 and 2800 blocks of Washington Road, a police statement said.

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