A section of downtown Blue Ridge burned Saturday after a fire broke out inside a cafe and spread to adjoining buildings.
Fannin County E-911 dispatched firefighters to the blaze around 1:39 p.m. on Nov. 18. Over 40 county personnel responded. Neighboring Union and Gilmer counties brought in additional firefighters and equipment to provide mutual aid.
In a scene reminiscent of the devastating fire that swept through downtown Clarkesville in March 2014, firefighters used a ladder truck to attack the flames from above. It took the ladder company and six engines two hours to get the fire under control.
The Fannin County Emergency Management Agency says firefighters saved three businesses and three homes that were directly exposed to the initial fire.
Point of origin
EMA says the fire started at Danielle’s Cafe in the center of the popular North Georgia tourist town and destroyed several downtown businesses. Officials issued an alert, asking people to avoid the downtown area and keep roads clear for public safety crews.
An employee at Sunrise on Blue Ridge who witnessed the fire tells Now Habersham, “It was heartbreaking.”
Kara Macsuga is the store manager. She captured several photos showing the aftermath of the fire. In a social media post, the store said, “Downtown Blue Ridge will never be the same.”
The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce posted a statement to social media saying, “Our hearts go out to all those affected by this unforeseen incident.”
The Chamber added, “In these moments, the resilience and spirit of our community shine the brightest. We extend our deepest gratitude to the brave first responders who acted swiftly and diligently to control the situation.”
There is no word yet on how the fire started or if anyone was hurt.