Fire Destroys Ogden Grocery Store

Fire Destroys Ogden Grocery Store

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Damage has been estimated at $450,000 from a fire that destroyed the Red Duck grocery store.

The blaze, which started at 1:22 p.m. Monday, caused the estimated $350,000 total loss of the structure and $100,000 lost in destroyed merchandise, equipment and furnishings. The cause of the fire had not been determined.

Two Red Duck employees smelled smoke, found the kitchen full of it, and got out.

"When we got here there was heavy smoke involvement out of the attic area," said Ogden Fire Battalion Chief Steve Splinter.

He said firefighters went in through a back door and started to get water on the fire, but were unable to stay inside long "because of the heavy smoke and the fact that it looked like it was in the attic space and it could get a whole lot worse quick -- and that's what it did."

Minutes after firefighters left, the roof above exploded in flame and black smoke, sending huge plumes over neighboring houses where dozens of people were watching from in their yards. Police moved some spectators back out of fear that something in the store could explode.

Rufus B. Greaves, the owner of the business corner that includes the Red Duck store and a small strip mall, said, "I'm just sick."

Greaves said he bought the corner eight years ago and then saw his business slide downhill when 30th Street was torn up in a widening and rebuilding process that has taken more than 18 months so far.

He hoped that 30th Street was going to get its final coat of pavement this summer, "then striping, and we could see a little change."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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