Arsonist blamed for large overnight fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Arsonist blamed for large overnight fire

No one was hurt, but big flames caused part of a building to collapse early Monday morning in South Memphis. No one was hurt, but big flames caused part of a building to collapse early Monday morning in South Memphis.

(WMC-TV) – A South Memphis building went up in flames Tuesday morning and burned so fast that the church next door was in danger. Now investigators say an arsonist was behind the blaze.

Firefighters faced a major battle as they tried to put the flames out.

"When our fire crews arrived on the scene, they noticed heavy fire coming from the one story commercial structure," said Lt. Wayne Cooke, of the Memphis Fire Department.

Firefighters attacked the blaze from inside the building first, but the heat and smoke forced crews back outside after parts of the building collapsed.

"It really does break my heart," said the building's owner Amika McGaugah.

She fought back tears as the flames destroyed the building her father Buford left her before he died last year.

She said in the 1940's the building was home to Buford's Record Store, a popular hot spot famous for a variety of music.

"Al Green records, some of Elvis Presley's records a lot of Stax records were sold there," she said. "So the building has definitely gone down in history."

But years of history were no match for the smoke and heat that turned the building in to a pile of rubble.

McGaugah says she was in the process of selling her building to St. Andrew's Church and expected to close on the deal today.

Now, all that is left is charred rubble and memories of what this building once was.

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