Fire at Downtown Business

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Meridian, Miss. The Nixie 2 station at 8th Street and 24th Avenue was damaged by fire Monday afternoon. It happened about 1:30 p.m.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire relatively quickly, but damage was already done. However, everyone was able to escape without injury.

Meridian Fire Department Battalion Chief Howard Gibson says his men acted very quickly, which is particularly important when the structure is a gas station.

"You need to get on it pretty quick. I mean, it's pretty volatile fuels," said Gibson. "None of the fuels were exposed to any of the fire. It was contained to the inside of the building. Firefighters did a real good job of getting on it and extinguishing the fire pretty quick."

Although the interior sustained some heavy smoke and water damage, Gibson says the fast response may have saved the integrity of the building.

"We arrived on the scene, and we had smoke showing," said Gibson, "Units arrived on the scene and started interior attack. We have two pumpers, a rescue company, a truck company, a command vehicle. Guys did a real good job with it. I'm real proud of the way they conducted themselves. They were real professionals with it."

Gibson says the number of fires increases during winter months and there are preventative measures whether you are at home or at work:

"People need to be aware of space heaters, and getting items too close to heater, and that sort of thing. And make sure your smoke detector is up to date," Gibson said.

Part of 8th Street was closed for a while, and Meridian police assisted in directing traffic after traffic backed up due to the fire.

Fire Chief Anthony Clayton says a cause of the fire is not immediately clear. The fire marshal is investigating. However, the owner of the property told Newscenter 11 he suspects it started with an interior cooler.