June 25--The future of a historic west Belleville grocery store destroyed by a fire last week remains unclear.
Main Street Market owner Vin Aggrawal said Tuesday he doesn't know whether he and his wife, Dimple, can rebuild the business they purchased in January.
"We are still in shock," Vin Aggrawal said. "We are not coming out of it. We had plans to be there for many, many years."
Those plans were shattered when a fire ripped through Main Street Market on June 16. The blaze gutted the building at 8193 W. Main St., which had been a staple in the Belleville west end.
Belleville Fire Chief Thomas Pour said the cause of the fire is still undetermined, but the department's fire investigation unit has confirmed it resulted from a malfunction of a piece of equipment in the back of the store.
However due to the extent of the damage, "they can't narrow it down to a piece of electrical equipment," he said, noting there were compressors and other electrical equipment in the north corner of the store.
Pour said the fire department's investigation into the fire has concluded. "We don't suspect any wrongdoing," he said.
Longtime owners of Main Street Market, Mike Chenault and John Carpenter, sold the store to Vin and Dimple Aggrawal, of Edwardsville.
Aggrawal said he and his wife are "looking at so many things" including replacement cost for the building as well as the equipment inside.
"We have no idea how things are going to turn out," he said. "We were doing so many things to improve the business. We were in for the long-term. Things happened differently."
The Aggrawals are working with their insurance company and its adjuster. A major hurdle they have run into, Vin Aggrawal said, is all the paperwork was kept inside the business. "All the paperwork is burnt," he said.
Aggrawal said it's too early to comment on what the future will hold for Main Street Market.
"We want to do business and will consider doing business there again," he said. "We don't know how that is possible. It depends on the insurance company. It's not in my hands. It's in the hands of the insurance agency."
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or [email protected].
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