Vacant Macon building damaged in fire

Macon-Bibb County fire officials are investigating what caused a Wednesday fire in the vacant side of a duplex structure at 3047 Napier Ave.

Flames and heavy smoke destroyed the former air-conditioning repair businesses, said authorities who responded to the scene about 2:15 p.m.

Brad Kendrick, owner of the building, which is up for sale, said the property recently had been vacated and items from the former business may have been inside.

An antique furniture shop shares the lot, at 3041 Napier Ave., and two apartments sit in the rear, he said.The antiques store suffered some smoke damage, fire officials said. The people who live in the apartments were not at home during the incident and their homes were left intact.

Fire Capt. C.I. Jackson said the blaze appeared to begin in a back room.

“But at this point, we don’t know what started the fire,” he said. “The gas box was gone. I can’t confirm if electricity is running.”

Within about 15 minutes, firefighters contained the flames, which had reached the roof and pushed bellows of smoke to the front of the structure. Kendrick said he was not sure if the damage would amount to a total loss. The incident remains under investigation by arson investigator Tom Musselwhite.