Massive Fire Destroys Several Hayneville Businesses


By Jessica Gertler

From Hayneville -- Several businesses are picking up the pieces after a fire late last night. Witnesses say the flames rose above power lines and ripped through a shopping plaza in a matter of minutes. 

Fire officials say they arrived on the scene around 11:45 Tuesday night, and they fought the flames until sunrise.  

The skeleton of a Hayneville shopping center is all that remains Wednesday. A Subway restaurant, an ALFA insurance service center and a family guidance center stood there just 24 hours ago.  

"Everybody's in shock. A little upset," says Hayneville Mayor Kelvin Lawrence.

Lawrence owned the Subway. He closed up shop Tuesday night. The fire broke out an hour later.

"They did everything they could to save it, but it was already engulfed in flames," he says.

Every agency in Lowndes County fought the blaze. Walter Hill witnessed the battle and took pictures of the orange glow that filled the sky.

"It was so surreal to see. The magnitude of the fire. The height of the blazes was protruding up into the air," Hill says.

Steve Holmes with the Alabama Fire Marshal's office is on the scene assessing the damage. He doesn't suspect foul play. 

"As you the fire is still smoldering as we stand here. This could be another 24 hours before it gets cold enough for our investigators to work the scene," Holmes says.

Community members say this is a loss for Hayneville.

"It looks really bad. I hate it for the people that work there," says resident Don Willis.

Up the road, ALFA has brought in a mobile unit. As for the other businesses, Lawrence is hoping the owner will rebuild.

"Hopefully, we can bring back economic stability to the area," he says.

Lawrence believes this building is around ten years old.

Officials say no one was in the building when the fire broke out, and no injuries have been reported. 


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