Early-morning flames engulfed the convenience store Friday, Dec. 22. As many community members prepared for a holiday weekend of travel, family, and friends, the local business began to brace themselves for what could possibly be next after such devastation.
Smoke was discovered coming from the back of the main work area by the only employee on duty at approximately 6:30 a.m. One customer was in the store at the time.
With the Vermillion Fire Department on the scene, store manager Teresa Hof said that the fire was doused within a couple of hours.
The apparent cause was the wiring of a ceiling fan in one of the store's bathrooms, which quickly spread throughout the framework of the building and the structural components of the ceiling. Presenting an optimistic attitude, Hof stated, "We are working hard, and we have specific deadlines to meet."
As the recovery and rebuilding process remains ongoing, employees, members of ownership and local work crews are on site to lend their time to meet the requirements for the reopening timeline. The plans to gut the store's inside and give it a complete makeover have been implemented.
Hof has a positive outlook on the rehabilitation stages, even with damage costs being described as substantial and the realization of what lies ahead. She said, "It is overwhelming, but we will work hard to reopen as soon as possible."