ATLANTA -- A fire at United Transmission Service in downtown Atlanta produced heavy smoke that could be seen for miles.

PHOTOS | United Transmission Service fire

The two-alarm fire was first reported shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday at the building at 350 Marietta Street NW. Atlanta Fire spokeswoman Janet Ward said the fire was fully involved and the building is a total loss.

Construction worker Bill Askew spotted the fire on his way to a job and called 911.

"I called and told the fire department, send me a full alarm and maybe a second alarm, because this was rolling," he said.

A total of 70 firefighters responded with 15 trucks. They used ladders to fight the flames and billowing smoke.

The fire has since been put out. Fire officials are now investigating the cause.

Ward said Joe Barton, the owner of the business, told her he'd been at the location for 50 years. He also said five to 10 cars were inside the building when the blaze broke out.

"It's sad to see this happen," Barton said. "I'm 77, been doing it for 50 years, it was a way of life. I would have paid to come to work every day."

Barton added the shop was closed when the fire started. He has no idea what caused it.

"You just never know. We didn't have any enemies, so it wasn't anybody who's gonna come over here, because we're good to everybody," he said.

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