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Cumming record shop destroyed by early morning fire weeks away from re-opening
His Rock fire

When Bob Johnson, owner of His Rock Music record store, decided to reopen this year, he decided that it would be an opportunity to start fresh, providing albums and live music on a smaller scale than his previous location.

But those dreams were smashed Friday morning after flames engulfed the building where His Rock Music was readying to reopen at, destroying Johnson’s collection of albums and music equipment.

“The albums are completely gone – the CDs, the DVDs, all my sound equipment, it's all trashed," Johnson said Friday morning. "We're looking at about $30,000 worth of equipment and albums that are gone.”

Authorities say that the 3,000-square-foot building at 318 Dahlonega Highway in Cumming, which housed four small businesses, including His Rock Music, suffered extensive damage after catching fire Friday.

According to Forsyth County Fire Department Division Chief Jason Shivers, when fire crews arrived on scene at about 4:45 a.m., the building’s center unit and roof were heavily engulfed in flames.

Over several hours, fire crews worked to extinguish the fire and Dahlonega Highway was shut down for approximately three hours during the process.

Despite the extensive damage, no injuries were reported during the fire, Shivers said.

Investigators with the Forsyth County Fire Marshal’s Office will be investigating the blaze, Shivers said. But at this point there is no indication what could have caused the fire or whether the building’s extensive damage will result in a total loss.

But for His Rock Music, the fire will probably prove to be irreversible, Johnson said.

Johnson said he anticipated getting a certificate of occupancy in the next week and had scheduled a grand opening for the store on Jan. 25. But he hadn’t purchased insurance for the new business yet, he said. If he tries to start over again, it will be starting over with nothing.

"It's all original stuff that isn't printed anymore. So to find it again will take some effort and money," he said.

In just a few short hours after the fire, Johnson said that he was flooded by messages from people who either played at his previous His Rock Music location or shopped there for albums, all voicing their support and love.

“I feel the love, but that doesn't help much with the actually loss of it," he said. “But at the end of the day, nobody got hurt; stuff is stuff and can be replaced."