Auto shop burns - 11 cars, business destroyed

Forsyth County fire crews battle extreme conditions

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CUMMING, Ga. — A fire destroyed an auto shop in Cumming July 18.

There were 11 cars that were damaged in addition to the building structure.

The fire at Benton Motorsports, 328 Dahlonega Street in Cumming, started about 1:48 p.m. July 18.

What sparked the fire is under investigation.

This is a total loss for the business, said Forsyth County Fire Department Capt. Jason Shivers.

Benton repairs automobiles and sells them.

Five engines and two latter trucks and about 30 personnel took part in putting out the flames.

Because of extreme weather, firefighters were rotated constantly.

"The afternoon heat was taking a toll," said Shivers. "We were rotating them out and giving them fresh air breaks."

About halfway through the operation, a storm approached and crews battled the heavy rain and lightning strike that happened around them.

"It added another challenge to working outside with the elements," Shivers said.

There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.

This is the second fire this year that involved cars.

In February, 23 cars were destroyed at U.S. Auto Sales, 306 Atlanta Highway in Cumming. That fire was ruled accidental by investigators, Shivers said.