Demolition of Food for Less store underway following fire

DAYTON — UPDATE @ 1:45 p.m.:

Demolition of the Food for Less grocery store on East Third Street in Dayton is underway following a fire at the business Thursday night.

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As crews continue to put out hot spots at a grocery store destroyed by a fire Thursday night, residents are left wondering where they will shop for food.

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Crews were called around 8:40 p.m. to the Food for Less grocery store at 3129 E. Third St. and found heavy flames and evidence of an explosion.

“When our crews arrived on scene ... the debris from the front part of the building was in the street, so we would think that may have come from an explosion,” Dayton Fire Chief Jeffrey Payne said.

The store closed between 30 and 45 minutes before the fire was reported, and no one was believed inside, Payne said.

“We have a fire investigator here,” the chief said, however, “there’s no reason to think anything suspicious is going on.”

Payne estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 gallons of water was used in the fire. Initially, crews had an issue with water pressure, which he said was fixed by the city of Dayton water department.

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Residents looking on said they were shocked and wondered where they are going to grocery shop.

“It’s terrible. I’ve been coming here for years, I mean years,” said Third Street resident Christine Hedrick.

She said it’s the only actual grocery store in the area.

“It breaks my heart,” she said. “I hope they rebuild and get it going again ... for the community.”

Cheyenne Gierus said she was just in the store before closing tonight.

“Everything was fine,” she said. Later Thursday night, she saw flames coming from the store. “I just can’t believe it.”

A local resident called 911 to report the fire.

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“911. What’s your emergency?” “Food For Less is on fire,” the caller said. “It’s flaming bad. It’s bad, bad.”

No one was hurt in the fire, and no nearby structures had to be evacuated or were affected by flames.

A salt truck will be called to the treat the roadway, as temperatures will start in the low 20s this morning.

>> Bitter cold morning with wind chills in teens; chance for rain Sunday

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

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