UPDATE: Fire destroys Smith Trucking Co. building in Greensboro. Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause.
GREENSBORO — A commercial building used by Smith Trucking Co. was destroyed in a three-alarm blaze early Tuesday, according to Dwayne Church, deputy chief of the Greensboro Fire Department. No injuries were reported.
A passerby called 911 at 4:16 a.m. to report the fire in the 2800 block of Oakland Avenue, which is in the Lindley Park area.
Church said the department could not immediately tell what caused the fire and said the Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.
Damage to the structure is estimated at more than $300,000, Church said.
Without knowing what was inside the building, Church said the department does not have a damage estimate for the contents. He said they were able to contact the owner, Randy Smith.
Smith’s father, Donald Allen Smith, who founded the trucking company decades ago, passed away in December 2013. Donald Smith was known for his many years of dedication to the trucking industry and for his unique collection of antique trucks and automobiles.
Randy Smith could not immediately be reached for comment.
When the first firefighters arrived early Tuesday, the fire was fully involved with flames through the roof, Church said.
Firefighters called for a second alarm to bring more firefighters and trucks to the scene and took a “defensive stance,” Church said, adding that no one was sent inside the structure.
“Our main objective is to protect exposures” in that type of situation, he said.
Church said that because the building was somewhat isolated, there was not a significant threat to other structures.
The department then called a third alarm for staffing purposes. Church said it was very cold and wet, so the department’s Special Operations team brought tents with warmers for the firefighters.
To battle the blaze, the department had 60 firefighters, 14 firetrucks and 10 command vehicles at the scene.
Church said they dispatched the department’s drone team, which was able to show the truss construction of the building. Looking at the type of trusses in a building can tell firefighters if those trusses are more likely to collapse in fires — such as those used in this building.
The drones also have thermal imaging, Church said. So once the fire was “knocked down,” the drones could help pinpoint hot spots.
“It gives you a bird’s eye view,” Church said of the drones, which the department has used for approximately three years.
He said the fire was under control at 7:22 a.m.
Greensboro police closed several intersections near the fire before reopening them later that morning: Oakland Avenue at McManus Street, Oakland Avenue at Park Terrace, Spring Garden Street at McManus Street and Hiatt Street at Park Terrace.
Contact Annette Ayres at 336-373-7019.