Many people in Scottsboro are wondering what caused a local business to catch fire and put some people out of a job. The fire happened early Tuesday morning at the Jackson County Court Referral and Community Corrections building on South Houston Street--right next door to the Scottsboro Fire Department.
WAAY 31 spoke with several people in Scottsboro who believe the fire is suspicious. "A lot of people don’t like that building over there," said Scottsboro resident, Sambo Thompson. "I figured somebody might’ve thrown something through the back glass and caught it on fire myself," he said.
The business is known for conducting random drug tests and is a place Thompson says he’s been to often and knows too well. He tells WAAY 31 it wouldn’t surprise him if the fire was set intentionally. "A lot of people have went through it and I’ve known that they didn’t have anything or did anything and they come up diluted pees. So they start them over again and they have to go through the program again," Thompson said.
And Thompson isn’t the only one who thinks the business may have gained some enemies. "Everybody in Scottsboro and Jackson County just about knows about court referral. None of them like it," said another Scottsboro resident, Micheal Wilks. "They’d fail them for some odd reason when they’d be totally clean.” And that's why why Wilks thinks the fire is suspicious. "I thought it was funny," he said.
Thompson says it could’ve been someone who didn’t want to get in trouble for using drugs. "Could’ve used last night and didn’t want to come in and take a drug test in the morning and just done away with it," he said. But no matter what happened, the fire caused some serious damage to the inside of the building and, now, some people are without jobs. "I’ve been out of work before, too, and it ain’t fun," said Wilks.
Both Sambo Thompson and Michael Wilks are wishing the business the best of luck moving forward. "They’re good people. I feel sorry for them. Like I said, I love them to death. If I can help them in any way, I'll come help them in any way that I can, because they helped me stay clean for a while," Thompson said.
WAAY 31 reached out to the business to see if they would like to make a comment on the fire, but we haven’t heard back from them. We also reached out to the Alabama state fire marshal to see if we could get more information on what caused the fire, but we’re still waiting to hear back from them as well.