Firefighters were able to contain a three-alarm blaze to one downtown building before it could spread to neighboring businesses early Sunday morning.
The fire happened about 4:20 a.m. on North Fountain Avenue between Columbia and Main streets in the Carter Building, which had housed the former Carter Co. Jewelers.
Traffic in the area was halted to allow firefighters to work. Firefighters said other buildings were in danger because of the flames. An excavator was brought in to tear down the building and remove debris for fire fighters to gain access and extinguish remaining hot spots in the front basement of the structure.
No injuries were reported.