By Carol A. Gasser Moore
LAKELAND, GEORGIA – This is an update on the fire that consumed the Old Butcher Shop Plaza which broke out Sunday afternoon between 3:00-4:00 p.m. The businesses at the plaza include the Old Butcher Shop, the Lakeland Probation (Department of Corrections, DCS) Office, and Smith Family Chiropractic Center.
By Sunday night, multiple fire departments eventually responded to help with the blaze. “Fire crews from Lakeland-Lanier County, Homerville-Clinch County and Willacooche-Coffee County helped battle the fire,” said Lakeland-Lanier Fire Chief Gary Yeomans. “A total of eleven fire trucks were on the scene. No first responder nor anyone else was harmed by the fire.”
The plaza is located at the intersection of North Brantley Street and East Church Street, specifically 6 N. Brantley St. It is immediately west of Scout Hall and Connell Cabinets.
Since 2001, the entire plaza has been owned by the Old Butcher Shop Inc., whose registered agent is Craig Courson. Its former owner was Bobby Courson B Eta (1996). It was insured by Shaw Insurance Company and the building, not including contents, was valued at $244,000.
It is confirmed that the building is a loss and definitely looked the part on Monday by light of day, as it continued to burn internally. All damage was contained to the building. The biggest problem is that keys to several DCS Lakeland Probation Office company cars were inside the burning building. The cars were not parked close enough to be damaged.
After Lakeland-Lanier Fire Chief Gary Yeomans investigated, he stated that the fire originated in a back portion of the Old Butcher Shop. The center portion of the building was the originally building and housed the Lakeland DCS offices. Yeomans graduated from Lanier County High School (LCHS) in 1974 and he stated that the center portion of the building was originally the Agriculture Shop of the high school, which was located next door. It was well after 1974 that the new portions of the building were added on that eventually housed the Old Butcher Shop and Smith Family Chiropractic.
“Unless the state (DCS) agency involved requests the Georgia State Fire Marshall be requested to investigate,” said Yeomans, “the fire’s source is unlikely to be investigated further. There was no evidence of foul play. The building did not have a fire wall, although there was a brick wall between the three offices since the original building had brick sides.”
Yeomans reported his investigation and conclusions to State Fire Marshal John Hogan, who will make his report from Yeomans investigation of the fire and observations as the fire engulfed the building.
This a developing story.
Part of the event was live-streamed on the Lanier County News Facebook page and is available to viewers.
Fire destroys Old Butcher Shop and other offices in Lakeland, GA
Posted by Lanier County News on Sunday, March 15, 2020
The morning after, flames still visible
Posted by Lanier County News on Monday, March 16, 2020