Storage room fire does $325K in damage downtown
BATON ROUGE- Investigators are looking into a fire in downtown Baton Rouge which caused hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage overnight.
The fire happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday in a storage facility attached to Bates and Thigpens on Third Street, and took two hours to get fully under control.
Despite the overnight flames and heavy smoke damage, the clothing store opened for business Thursday.
"This place could have been ashes when I walked in this morning. It didn't take them long to put it out. They had trucks in the front and trucks in the back," said Bradley Bates, owner of Bates and Thigpens.
Firefighters said people working next door at City Bar noticed smoke coming out of the building and called for help.
"I would hope that anyone on the block downtown would help each other out. Fortunately, we're open late night. It was good for him. If we wouldn't have been open, they probably wouldn't have noticed it," said City Bar manager, Blake Deaville.
Emergency responders had to shut down Third Street and Lafayette Street to deal with the fire.
Crews managed to contain the fire to the maintenance room and attic, but store owners said much of their inventory suffered smoke damage. Firefighters estimated the total damage to be at around $325,000 to the store, its merchandise, and the storage room.