Fire crews extinguished a fire at a tire store along Edgefield Highway in Aiken County around noon Wednesday. 

A call for a fully engulfed structure fire at 1333 Edgefield Highway – El Amigo II Tires – came in at 8:44 a.m., according to Aiken Department of Public Safety Lt. Jake Mahoney. The call was made to 911, and no one was in the building at the time of the call, he said.

No one was injured.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office and the Aiken Department of Public Safety were among the first to respond to the tire store. By 9 a.m., fire was shooting out of the roof and street-facing windows. 

Mahoney said the fact that the fire happened at a tire store made it all the more difficult to get under control: "It's a tire store, so there's an incredible amount of fire load, lots of fuel."

"Tires burn hot," he added.

Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hunt, who showed up on scene, said the tires make battling the blaze more difficult.

Firefighters spent a good portion of Wednesday morning dragging tires away from the burning building.

The roof of the building collapsed "early on," Mahoney said. The building's facade collapsed around 9:45 a.m.

fire front collapse

The El Amigo II Tires shop at 1333 Edgefield Highway caught fire Wednesday. The front of the El Amigo tire store building has collapsed. Firefighters were not near the front but have since backed up.

"There's nothing in there that's salvageable," Mahoney said. A backhoe was brought to the property to raze the building.

"The whole structure is on the ground," Mahoney said.

Firefighters assumed a defensive position early on as a residence, about 50 feet away from the structure, was threatened. Mahoney said the house was ultimately damaged: Siding on the house melted and warped.

Emergency responders temporarily blocked off a portion of Edgefield Highway around the fire and eventually reopened the road to traffic.

Colin Demarest is a reporter with Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since November 2017. He is a New Jersey native and received his B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin