Fire at racecar driver's former Lee County home - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Fire at racecar driver's former Lee County home


All that is left of a building in the 9200 block of Lee County Road 240 is charred wood and burned wreckage. 

Neighbors said the address is the former home of professional racecar driver, Dana Eiland, and the building that caught fire was where he worked on his cars.

 People who live next door said it all happened very fast.  They turned their heads for a moment, and by the time they looked back out their window, the building was completely engulfed in flames.

 "I looked up and I said, Oh my God, something's on fire, and he turned around and said- ‘That's the shop.'  And I said, Oh my God, call the fire department. We didn't know if it was going to get out of control or not.  It went up pretty fast," said neighbor Cecelia Thomley.

 "Flames over here, around the house, on the shed, the tree was on fire. All I know is there was an ambulance at first, all kinds of cop cars, fire department everywhere, they came and told us we had to get out of the house," said witness Janet Bloom.

 Neighbors said they heard popping noises right before the fire started.  By the end, they counted at least ten fire trucks on scene Tuesday night.  The fire burned so hot, firefighters had to return Wednesday morning to extinguish a rekindle.

 "But the fire was at least 100 feet high.  It went up pretty fast. The cedar trees were going, the cinders were blowing this-a-way. So my husband came over here and got our hoses out in case anything over here had started," said Thomley.

 Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.  They have not commented on neighbor's claims that the current residents are living in the house without utilities.

Many of the neighbors who live nearby believe the house is frequently the scene of suspicious and possible drug activity.  Multiple people said they see different cars arriving at the back of the building at all hours of the night.  We are waiting to hear from investigators about their take on those claims.

Attempts to contact the current residents were unsuccessful.

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