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Jungle Jakes catches fire overnight
jungle jakes fire
Jungle Jakes caught fire this morning and burned. - photo by Lewis Levine

Jungle Jake catches fire overnight

Hinesville Fire Department responded to a structure fire at Jungle Jakes this morning around 2:20 a.m., according to HFD captain Robert Kitchings.
By: Lewis Levine

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This morning proved a total loss for two local business owners in Hinesville. The business Jungle Jakes was consumed in a structure fire Wednesday morning around 2:20 a.m. The Hinesville Fire Department responded to the structure fire this morning, and there was heavy black smoke enveloping the building when firefighters arrived on scene. The building, according to HFD Captain Robert Kitchings, had multiple ceilings, and the roof had been replaced several times over the years. Fire investigators entered the building around 8 a.m., and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Jungle Jakes owner Jason Lee said he received a phone call about the fire this morning, and was on scene from nearly 2:30-6:30 a.m. The business, which began as a small bookstore across the street near Bradwell Park, has been in business in Hinesville for nine years, Lee said. A lot of the board and card games, comics, and models were lost, he said. Lee’s son, Logan, ran the shop in the evenings after he came home from school at East Georgia State College.

“It’s one of those things that, you can only be in shock, and there’s not anything you can do,” Lee said. “When something like this happens, there’s not much you can do but wait to find out information.”

Lee credits the HFD with helping them process the entire situation, he said.

“The police and fire department have been exceptional,” Lee continued. “Like my wife said, there’s no possible way we would have been able to process it as well as we did without these guys. They were phenomenal. From the moment we walked on scene, these guys were right there giving us information and keeping us up to date the whole time. They’re fantastic.”

Lee said he’s hoping some of the models did make it through the blaze. According to the firefighters, the temperature didn’t reach above 150 degrees in the downstairs area, Lee said.

Next door, the new business Howe2Run suffered major smoke damage. Owner Phillip Howe said that the entire inside is covered in smoke, and all the inventory is potentially a total loss. Both business owners are waiting for the go-ahead to go inside and assess the damage.

Both Liberty County Chamber of Commerce and the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority reached out to Lee and Howe, and are offering help in any way they can.

“At this time there is nothing we can do as they assess damages,” LCCOC CEO Leah Poole said. “Howe2Run announced they are temporarily closed until further notice. We reached out first thing this morning when we heard about the incident and offered to help in any way we can.”

HDDA is working to find both owners a spot to temporarily run their businesses elsewhere in downtown.

“We are trying to find store-front space for both businesses, so that they may both keep a stream of income,” HDDA Director Michelle Ricketson said.

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