OAKLAND – A Sunday afternoon fire destroyed the Oakland Tire Center near the I-55 and Hwy 32 intersection.
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene just after 3 p.m. when an employee of the nearby Subway Sandwich Shop called 911 to report smoke coming from the building.
Chief Bennie Box of the Tillatoba Fire Department said the building was fully involved when he arrived on the scene. “I called for help on the way to the fire because I knew the size of the building,” he said.
Yalobusha County Fire Coordinator Frank Hyde, who also serves as county fire investigator, said that the fire is believed to have started in an area where the owner had been welding just a few minutes earlier.
Owner Larry Lindley told investigators he had taken a break and gone to his office on the opposite side of the complex. It was shortly after that the Subway employee told him the tire shop was on fire.
Lindley attempted to fight the blaze with a garden hose while awaiting the arrival of fire fighters. However, the smoke was so intense that he was unable to get to the source of the fire.
He was able to remove some racks of clothing from the building and move some riding lawnmowers parked nearby.
Hyde said that the metal covered wood structure was a total loss. “Once the fire made it into the attic it spread from one end to the other quickly.”
Along with the building, the loss included tires, front-end alignment equipment, a post lift, and a drive-on lift.
Around 30 firefighters from the Oakland, Tillatoba, Sylva Rena, and Velma volunteer fire departments battled the blaze. The Spring Hill Department from Tallahatchie County assisted by bringing additional water, according to Hyde.
(The Herald thanks John Few for the use of his photographs of the fire.)