Fire On South Elm Street In Greensboro Sends 4 Firefighters To Hospital

1:14 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Firefighters still are on scene Friday morning at South Elm Street, where they are keeping watch on the building where a massive fire erupted Thursday afternoon.

The State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), Greensboro Police Department and Fire Marshal's Office are focusing their efforts on what caused the fire.

Greensboro Fire Chief Greg Grayson said it appears the fire was accidental, but that has not been fully determined. Investigators are interviewing the shop owner and employees.

Throughout the morning, firefighters periodically were spraying water on the building, watching for hot spots that might ignite. Police are also keeping watch to make sure people do not get too close to the scene.

South Elm Street and Arlington Street at E. Bragg are still closed, and a cone barrier is preventing drivers from being able to travel down those streets.

Four firefighters went to the hospital for injuries from the large structure fire.

Fire officials say Greensboro Fire Captain Thomas Suddarth with Greensboro Fire Station 11 was injured in the fire. He was transported to Moses Cone but later taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical for burn injuries. Saturday evening Deputy Chief Hunter told WFMY News 2 Captain Suddarrth's condition continues to improve and is now up and moving around.

Grayson said he is visiting Suddarth on Friday. He reiterated that Suddarth is improving and has the support of his family and colleagues. 

Grayson also said Matthew Clapp with Fire Station 7 was taken to Moses Cone Hospital after receiving injuries to his ankle. As of 9:15 p.m. Thursday night, Deputy Chief Clarence Hunter confirmed Matthew Clapp was out of the hospital.

William Boswell with Fire Station 7 was treated and released from Moses Cone Hospital along with Brian Bachemin, also with Fire Station 7.

Two other firefighters were treated and released from the hospital.

The fire started around 12:45 p.m. Thursday at Import Knights Body Shop located 811 South Elm Street in Greensboro.

Fire crews say the call originally came in as a car fire. They also say they heard a mayday call after the ceiling collapsed during the fire.

Fire crews from Charlotte and Salisbury areas are assisting Greensboro Fire crews with moral support.

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