Hundreds watched through the afternoon from all around as a fire raged and blew across West Avenue, destroying the former Jockey plant that was operating as a flea market on Tuesday.

Firefighters from Cedartown, Rockmart, Polk County and Rome all were called upon with ladder trucks, pumpers and hoses aplenty to battle the blaze that continues to smolder this morning, and West Avenue is going to remain closed until further notice.

Power lines, sidewalks, the roadway and signage across the street were all damaged in the Tuesday fire, which melted the copper in utility lines and left it puddled when cooled around the scene of the former plant.

Cedartown Fire Chief Kyle Watters said firefighters have been on the scene since Tuesday after the fire was first reported. He confirmed there were no injuries reported among citizens or first responders. He additionally thanked the departments from Rockmart, Polk County and Rome for their assistance in battling the fire. He noted as well that Cave Spring Fire was also on standby for additional help if needed.

Cedartown City Manager Edward Guzman said the roadway between North Second Street and Furnace Street will remain closed until further notice.

Based on visual inspection this morning, the roadway will require extensive repairs to be accessible by traffic.

Guzman was also appreciative of the efforts of Domino’s of Cedartown, Cedartown First Methodist Church and Commissioner Jessica Payton for donations of food and drinks for first responders who took part in yesterday’s immediate action against the fire, and those who remain on scene working on cleanup operations.

“We are extremely grateful for those who have reached out to offer their help over the past day,” Guzman said. “Times like this show that we have great neighbors in our community willing to step up without being asked for the assistance.”

Connection was lost for several hours on Tuesday for Spectrum and phone customers after the lines running down West Avenue melted. Service has been partially restored to some customers in the area, but temporary lines are going to have to been installed for the time being.

The fire that claimed the Jockey building burned upward of near 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to melt the copper in the lines. Higher than normal winds on Tuesday afternoon helped to fuel the heat of the fire, which at one point was blowing across West Avenue.

Fortunately, the fire did not claim any other buildings.

The historic building is not the first West Avenue plant to be claimed by fire. The Goodyear plant in Cedartown was also destroyed by flames after it had closed. The Goodyear Soccer Complex which bears its name sits across Dry Creek from the Jockey plant that was destroyed.

A cause for the fire has not yet been determined, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office will be investigating the incident per Chief Watters.

Check back for additional updates as they become available.

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