A suspicious fire in Cobb County almost took out a whole strip mall.
It happened early Sunday morning at the Clay Plaza Shopping Center in Mableton. Three businesses and a church were badly damaged and fire officials said it might not be an accident.
Firefighters said this all started in the Western Union. The cause is still under investigation, but investigators are not ruling out the possibility it was set on purpose.
Whatever the cause, the fire caused a lot of damage for several business honors.
Minnie Scott is one of the pastors at Word of Life Covenant Church. "When we got here and saw all the fireman and all the trucks, it was really disheartening," said Scott.
Gabriela Barron is one of the managers at Western Union. "I was in shock. I was in shock because I've never had a fire before like this in my business or my house," said Barron.
And unfortunately, her first fire was a bad one. "Everything is gone. Basically the building is just gone," said Barron.
Two other businesses and the church next door to the Western Union were affected, but firefighters were able to limit the damage.
"All of our equipment, thank God, was moved by the fireman. So none of our equipment got damaged," said Scott. She added, "We pray a lot in that building. So we believe that help came through God and them being good, good fireman."
There was a similar feeling three doors down at Signature Cuts barber shop. They weren't affected, but they know they could have been next. "Thank God for the fire department that got here in time to save the damage. They did save a lot of damage," said Andre Thomas, from Signature Cuts.
The challenge now will be to move on. Each business has their own plan, but one thing they all agree on is they're very happy no one was hurt.
The Western Union is a total loss. The church and other businesses suffered significant damage, but owners hope to get things fixed back up.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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