Around the Region - Jan. 18

Published: Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 10:26 p.m.

Police Beat

Fire destroys area warehouse

An industrial warehouse at 2623 N.W. 74th Place was destroyed by a fire Saturday morning, reported Gainesville Fire Rescue.

The fire was discovered at 7:14 a.m. by a Gainesville police officer who was on routine patrol, said GFR spokeswoman Carol Davis in a press release.

The building was about 50 percent engulfed when GFR arrived. The 5,000-square-foot building contained automobiles and potentially hazardous materials, Davis said.

The HazMat Team responded to track and test air samples to ensure there were no toxic substances airborne.

"This is a difficult fire to fight because of the unknown substances contained within the structure," district Fire Chief Jeff Lane said. "The unknown composition of substances creates a safety concern for our firefighters."

A section of U.S. 441 was closed temporarily due to heavy smoke and unsafe driving conditions. Due to the severity of the blaze and the unknown substances within the building, all but one of GFR's apparatus responded to aid in extinguishing the fire.

The fire was eventually extinguished but the building was a total loss. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

There was no one in the structure at the time of the fire. Businesses associated with the building include Dyna-Mite Detailing, Fields Mechanical Services and Master's Lawn Care.

- Cindy Swirko

Man allegedly fires gun out car window

A Lake City man was arrested Friday on charges related to firing a gun out of a car window, police reported.

Jeb Stuart Johns, 28, of 463 S.W. Dyal Ave., was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and improper exhibition of a firearm, according to Lake City Police Sgt. John Blanchard IV.

Officers responded to a call of shots being fired in the area of Dade and Avalon Streets. Witnesses reported seeing a black Dodge Charger with three men inside drive past 297 Avalon St. and fire a gun out of the window, Blanchard reported.

A bulletin was put out for the car and a short time later a car matching the description was stopped by Columbia County sheriff's deputies near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Guerdon Street.

Police officer Brian Bruenger interviewed the suspects on scene and recovered two firearms, police said. There were no injuries.

Police said they believe the shooting resulted from an argument. An additional arrest is expected.

- Cindy Swirko

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