Blaze Burns Hundreds of Tires at Ga. Business

Aug. 21--The massive blaze that burned hundreds of tires shortly after 4 p.m Wednesday afternoon, just a few feet from the garage at Golden Isles Used Tires, did not stop employees there from doing their jobs.

Within 30 minutes of the Glynn County Fire Department putting out the flames that sent plumes of black smoke over U.S. 17 and prompted a response from at least three fire trucks, Bobby Martin and Christopher Sapp were replacing tires for customers.

"Back to work I guess," Sapp said as he carried a wheel and tire into the garage while firefighters continued to spray foam on the smoldering pile of rubber adjacent to the garage.

Christopher Sapp, his father Roger Sapp, the tire business' general manager, and Martin could not help but laugh at the misfortune of losing what they estimated to be as many as 400 17-inch and 18-inch used tires. At a price of $53 a piece, they estimate the total loss of inventory at more than $20,000.

Christopher Sapp was thankful the fire department was able to douse the flames quickly enough to keep the business' building from catching as well.

"It could have been a lot worse," he said.

When Martin saw a small flame at the northwest corner of the chain-link fence that separates shelves of tires from the parking lot of the Fun Town Roller Rink, formerly known as Skateland 17, he said he grabbed a hose to help the rink's owner who had already started on the same task.

"It was doing alright," Martin said, standing in the doorway of the garage. "Then it caught a tire, and it was on."

The rink's owner, Rick Young, said he thought an ember from a wood-burning grill may have been the culprit that ignited the fire.

Roger Sapp said losing the tires was bad, but not getting a chance to get some food from the grill was even worse.

"He normally brings us some good food. We didn't get any today," he said with a hearty belly laugh.

Roger Sapp said the two businesses get along well, and there are no hard feelings if the grill was truly what started the blaze.

"Accidents happen," he said.

As of early Wednesday evening, the Glynn County Fire Department was still looking into what started the blaze as firefighters continued to monitor potential hot spots with flame-dousing foam.

"Tires are hard to put out with just water," said one firefighter.

-- Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.

Copyright 2014 - The Brunswick News, Ga.