The mid-afternoon fire that severely damaged and Wednesday originated in the building's ceiling and can be attributed to an electrical malfunction, Fire Chief Jason Gilliland said.
According to Gilliland, local firefighters first received word of the fire at 1:34 p.m., when members of the 5 Corners kitchen staff noticed smoke coming from a wall in the rear of the building.
The two employees, Gilliland said, called 911 and began trying to extinguish the fire themselves, which they were able to trace down into the building's basement.
After successfully knocking down the fire in the basement, fire officials noticed that more smoke began pouring out of the side and roof of the building and realized that the fire was burning inside the walls.
Gilliland said local fire officials and representatives from the state Fire Marshall's Office worked late into the night last night looking to find out what started the fire and determined that the cause was an electrical malfunction in the ceiling.
What was unusual, Gilliland said, was that the fire had been burning "for quite a while" before it was noticed.
"Everything electrical is hidden up in the ceiling, and between the roof and the tin ceiling there’s a two-and-a-half foot void and in that void there were roof rafters and when we looked at those they were pretty well-consumed by the time we got in there," Gilliland said. "They had been burning up there for quite a while."
At this point, Gilliland said the owners of the two businesses have met with their insurance companies and are "just trying to get the power back on and get it all cleaned up."
"Our firefighters, they did an excellent job on that fire, this is what we call a “good stop,” Gilliland said.