Plume of smoke, flames seen coming from Downtown Memphis business

Witnesses: Towing company fire appeared to start with a car

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - WMC Action News 5's High 5 camera captured plumes of smoke and flames pouring out of a Downtown Memphis business just before noon on Tuesday.

The fire broke out at P B & J Towing, which is located at 788 South Main Street.

According to fire investigators, workers were disassembling a vehicle when combustibles ignited. The fire spread to a second vehicle and the business.

"A lot of smoke," said Adam Osborne, who captured cell phone video of the fire. "You couldn't breathe."

The fire closed down roads near South Main Street and Virginia Avenue for a few hours.

Firefighters worked from the roof to hose down hot spots.

Lieutenant Wayne Cooke, with Memphis Fire Department, described the path of the flames.

"There were several vehicles on fire," he explained. "The fire ultimately extended to the commercial structure."

This is P B & J's second fire. The building went up in flames in an August 2010 arson. The company tows cars that are broken down or in violation of parking rules.

An insurance expert says if P B & J is found to be responsible for Tuesday's fire, its insurance will pay for damages.

The owner of PB & J, who goes by "Fat Pat," says he's just glad no one was hurt.

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