AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) - Pullman Hall formerly known as the Augusta and Waynesboro Railroad Depot was built in 1852, it allowed a link between Savannah and Augusta railroad shipping... until it was no longer needed in 1970.
Wednesday, fire officials are trying to find out what sparked a massive fire in downtown Augusta.
The historic Pullman Hall is now just a pile of rubble.
The flames left little behind as the fire swept through this former train depot and banquet hall.
Up until Tuesday, the building served as headquarters for Tako Sushi.
The owner tell us the building was used as a commissary kitchen for their two locations.
The owner also says the fire will not impact their restaurants and says they're just grateful no one was hurt.
Augusta Fire crews responding to the scene of a massive fire in downtown.
Historic Pullman Hall off Walton Way went up in flames around 5 p.m.
Witness to the scene, Winter Davis, says "it was Pullman Hall, and it was completely engulfed."
To many, Pullman Hall was a train depot. Others knew it as a reception hall.
"You know you're seeing a very historic brick structure falling apart right now," says Davis.
Officials say the fire came in as a business alarm before arriving at the scene. The scene was active upon arrival, engulfing the entire building.
Augusta Fire Department's Public Information Officer, Michael Meyers, says, "we had a whole side collapse in, or collapse out actually. It actually went out onto the middle of the street."
Davis saw the collapse, she says, "we actually saw one of the walls partially collapse."
Multiple fire trucks were there. The Sheriff's Department was directing traffic. Firefighters at the top of ladders acted quickly.
"At this time we do not have a cause. However, we have two investigators on the scene. This is a very active investigation. It is a very active fluid scene at this moment. Just like any fire, they are going to work hard to figure out a cause," says Meyers.
With the building collapsing in, Meyers says first responders have to control the fire from outside, but nobody has been injured.
"These guys are true heroes. They work very hard to make sure that no one else in the community gets hurt," says Meyers.
Even though no one was hurt, Meyers and witness, Winter Davis say losing a historic building will make an imprint on Augusta's history.
"It's really sad. It's heartbreaking. You know, we don't know how it started, what happened, but seeing a piece of history go up in flames is very poignant," says Davis.
Meyers says, "this is going to touch a lot of hearts in Augusta. People get married here, people have receptions here. So, this is just somewhere that's going to play a part in Augusta's history for a while."
The power went out in the area and did not come back on until late that night.
Firefighters worked overnight to control the burn and will be out all day to watch the hot spots.
We will have more updates as soon as they become available.
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