Cozy Corner fire probed
By By Lisa Tindell
A fire Wednesday morning at the former Cozy Corner building on Forrest Avenue in East Brewton has puzzled fire officials.
Joey Shell, East Brewton fire chief, said the building was nearly totaled destroyed on the inside under mysterious circumstances.
Shell said the lack of electricity or other utilities in the building raised questions concerning how the fire began.
Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Hoomes said it was evident the fire had burned throughout the building.
Hoomes said the damage in the building was such that a clear starting point or cause of the fire was not visible. Shell said additional investigation was necessary.
Ed Paulk, state fire marshal in Montgomery, said the fire is being investigated as a case of arson.
Although Paulk would not release the names of any suspects in the case, he did say the department was following several leads.
The building was vacant at the time of the fire and had recently been acquired by owners of Florida-based Helping Hands Mission.
The Rev. Dewey Mars, a representative of Helping Hands Mission said the organization had just recently taken possession of ownership in the building.
Shell said no evidence of insurance on the structure has been found.
Helping Hands Mission previously owned the building for several years and had sold the building to Al Wood. Wood refurbished the building and opened under the name Cozy Corner. The business remained open until January.
Fire officials said the call alerting the department to the blaze was received at 5:41 a.m. Wednesday and remained on the scene until about 8 a.m. Brewton Fire Department was paged as back up for the East Brewton department which responded with eight fire fighters.