Fire breaks out at downtown Atlanta business

Firefighters battling large business blaze just west of downtown

Atlanta firefighters were battling a large blaze Wednesday morning at an auto repair shop just west of downtown.

The two-alarm fire broke out just before 7 a.m. at United Transmissions in the 300 block of Marietta Street.

Atlanta fire spokeswoman Janet Ward told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the building was “fully involved” in flames.

Ward said that according to the shop’s owner, there are between 5 and 10 cars inside the build, but there were no people inside when the fire broke out.

There were no injuries, Ward said.

Marietta Street was blocked west of CNN Center while fire crews doused the flames.

The fire “posed quite a few dangers” to the 70 firefighters battling the blaze, according to Atlanta fire Battalion Chief Edward Hill.

“It’s a transmission rebuilding establishment, so you’re going to have dangers with transmission fluid and all types of flammable liquid, that’s the most dangerous,” he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Then, the layout of the building is a little different. It appears to be a one-story, but actually has a basement in the bottom of it,” he said. It has cars above other cars on lifts, so that’s dangerous.”

Joe Barton has operated United Transmissions in that location for 50 years. He got a call just before 7 a.m. from longtime employee Mike Lopez, telling him that his shop was on fire.

Lopez said he was on his way in when he “noticed smoke down by the Coca Cola building, and I didn’t know what it was.”

“I asked a lady that was walking her dog, and she said, ‘I think the transmission shop is on fire,’” Lopez said. “ I was just, like, no way, my worst fears.”

Lopez said watching the place where he has worked for 20 years go up in flames made him feel “sick. Just sick.”

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