June 9 update:
The fire that damaged two businesses at 1200 Martha Berry Blvd. was the work of an arsonist and a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case, says Fire Marshal Mary Catherine Chewning during a media briefing at the fire scene Wednesday morning. The blaze caused several thousand dollars in damage and was set in the convience store part of the business, she says. Both the store and Rome Taxi were displaced by the blaze. The reward is being offered by Georgia Arson Control.
- Anyone with information is asked to call Chewning at 706-591-0025 or Investigator Kyle York with the Rome Police Department, 706-238-5111.
June 3 updates:
Fire Marshal Mary Catherine Chewning reports an investigation into the store blaze at 1200 Martha Berry Blvd. was continuing Thursday afternoon, both by the fire department and Rome Police.
- The fire started on the upper floor in the convenience store area, she says, and not on the lower floor used by Rome Taxi Cab.
- The cause of the blaze remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Chewning at 706-591-0025 or Investigator Kyle York with the police department, 706-238-5127.
- She praised the work by firefighters in getting the blaze under control as well as the police department in providing traffic control, allowing fire crews to deploy as needed.
- Police and fire officials spent the morning and much of the day talking with witnesses.
A fire damaged an older convenience store on Martha Berry Thursday morning. Police and fire crews shut down by directions of the boulevard as firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze next to the Relax Inn and across from the former Cottis Inn. At one point Thursday morning, witnesses reported “billowing black smoke … traffic is being rerouted down North Fifth.” We were there around 9:30 a.m. and the fire had been knocked down with witness interviews under way.