Thursday's fire broke out around
Beers cans burst, propel
Burns said his initial investigation indicates the fire started in an area of the west side of the building, a large room where beer and other items were stored.
However, he said the exact location and origin has yet to be determined.
Reports of small explosions or popping sounds were the result of the carbonated beverages inside cans being heated to the point where expansion caused them to burst or the tops to pop off.
Despite the popping of lids and bursting of cans, Burns said the alcohol inside did nothing to intensify the fire. He said the alcohol content in beer and other beverages commonly available in distributorships is not high enough to either catch fire or intensify a fire.
He said the tops of several beer cans shot across the parking lot and into the street, but no one was or injured by them.
Owner's new pickup,
classic cars destroyed
Along with the destruction of the business, several cars -- some classics -- stored in the basement of the building were damaged.
Thomas said he did not know the extent of damage the vehicles sustained because the basement is not yet safe to access.
A pickup truck Thomas purchased weeks ago was also destroyed while it sat in front of the business while he was making deliveries in another vehicle.
Gilbert said the intense heat caused several lights on one of
The side of the
'Everyone came together'
Gilbert said the beer business was engulfed in flames within about 15 minutes after the call was dispatched to firefighters.
"I didn't take long for it to become completely taken over by fire," he said.
He said crews at first tried to enter a door to the east of the building and try and contain the blaze to the western side of the structure but those efforts failed due the intensity of the fire.
He said no one was injured and commended residents of
"We had people coming and saying what can we do to help," Gilbert said. "Everyone came together."
Thomas said his girlfriend is heartbroken by the fire and loss of the business she loved for 10 years.
"She got out of the corporate world and started this so she could have interaction with the community," he said. "She's going to be lost."
Thomas said the building is insured and that he and Harrington will work with investigators and an insurance carrier to see how to move forward.
He said the building and contents can be replaced, but luckily no one was hurt and no lives were lost.
"I thank God for that," Thomas said. "Who cares about the rest?"
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