SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Crews extinguished a major fire at the Coastal Empire’s largest flea market Tuesday afternoon.
The iconic Keller’s Flea Market cow still stands, but Chatham Emergency Services COO Phil Koster said part of the main building at Keller’s Flea Market collapsed on itself during the blaze.
He said there were no injuries. The flea market is closed on weekdays, so there was no one inside, nor any animals.
The owners are already working to reopen the flea market, but that possibility seemed unlikely just a day ago.
Traffic surrounding the business on 5901 Ogeechee Road was impacted for several hours Tuesday. Officers with the Chatham County Police Department were on scene directing traffic at Highway 17 and the Highway 204 on-ramp.
One driver captured video of the blaze just before police began closing down some traffic in the area.
Firefighters from Savannah, Pooler, Garden City and Chatham County all responded and helped extinguish the fire. Crews also remained on scene after the blaze was out to monitor for hot spots.
News 3 spoke with one vendor who said it was devastating to watch.
“Everything is gone, the entire building is gone,” said Will Humehries.
“I lost some furniture, some antiques, I lost some clothes. A little bit of jewelry,” he said. “But I lost a lot less than some other vendors lost.”
Humehries says Keller’s is home to more than 400 vendors — some of whom have been around for decades.
“Everybody’s close-knit, so that’s a blessing when something like this happens,” he said.
Humehries said many of the items lost are one of a kind and irreplaceable. But he said it’s this type of close-knit, family environment they’ve created that leaves him hopeful they will rebuild.
Keller’s Flea Market seems to be doing just that.
On their Facebook page, they thanked the community for an outpouring of concern and support.
On Wednesday, they said they anticipate opening for normal business hours at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
The fire remains under investigation. Chatham Emergency Services officials said it might be a few days before they determine a cause.