By Jack Gurner
OAKLAND – Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were at the scene Tuesday morning of a fire that destroyed the Antique Mall on Hwy. 32 at I-55.
Firefighters from four Yalobusha County fire departments battled the blaze that was reported just after 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to Yalobusha Emergency Management Agency Direc-tor Frank Hyde.
A clerk at the Shell Service Station located in front of the mall was one of several people who reported the fire. He said fire was coming out of the building just after 1 a.m.
Three fire engines, three tankers, and 21 firefighters from Oakland, Tillatoba, Sylva Rena, and Velma were involved in the fight until it was called under control at 3:30 a.m., Hyde said. Most of the units remained at the fire scene until 4:55 a.m.
Several Oakland firefighters were still on the scene at noon Tuesday handling debris for the ATF investigators. They were joined later in the day by investigators from the State Fire Marshal’s office.
The mall housed more than 50 vendors from all around the area, Mall Manager Patsy Hard told investigators. Several of the vendors are from Water Valley.
The L-shaped structure is owned by Kirk Lindley, son of Larry Joe Lindley of Charleston, owner and president of Lindley Invest-ments.
The structure is adjacent to Oakland Tire Center, located in the same complex, which burned in late May of 2008.
A woman who lives in the rental cabins at the rear of the complex reported she was frightened by the fire and tried to reach Lindley to let him know that the building was burning.
No injuries were reported during the blaze.
In 2007 developer Larry Joe Lindley told the Herald in 2007 he had made a $5 million investment in Yalobusha County, which included both structures as well as other buildings in the area.