Fire destroyed one building at the West Georgia Flea Market early Sunday morning.
CARROLLTON, Ga. -- After encountering 40 foot flames taking over an entire building Sunday morning, Carroll County firefighters were able to hold the damage at the West Georgia Flea Market to a single building. No one was hurt, but an estimated 20% of the available space at the market was lost.
The market's owner said around 40 vendors probably lost their booths, many packed with items that were to go on sale Sunday morning.
"I lost my money in the stock market, this is all I had," said an 80-year-old man who had a booth but asked not to be identified by name. "I'm on social security. I'll have to start all over again."
Some of the affected vendors sold goods at the flea market as a weekend hobby, while others depended on it for a living, or at least as a welcome crutch in a tough economy. As they stood watching the smoking remains of the steel structure, many realized they didn't have insurance for their personal property and weren't likely to be covered by the facility.
"Our stomachs are in knots; everything we've got is in this building," said Melanie Munsey.
The fire started at around 4 a.m., and was extinguished a few hours later. Investigators said it would take a week before they determine the cause of the fire.
An earlier version of this story appears below:
CARROLLTON, Ga. -- Fire destroyed one of the buildings at the West Georgia Flea Market near Carrollton early Sunday morning.
"I know that building on the hill that's completely gone had several vendors in it," said Carroll County Fire Chief Tracy Smith. "Everything from household goods to produce was in that particular building."
The 911 calls began coming in around 4:30 a.m.
When the first engine company arrived on the scene, flames were shooting 30 to 40 feet in the air.
"Our main focus was getting to the other side of the fire to stop it from spreading further," Chief Smith said.
Chief Smith said 20 percent of the entire complex has been damaged. He said the cause of the fire is under investigation.
No one was hurt in the fire.