WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. – A mainstay convenience store in Washington Park, Illinois, went up in flames Monday morning.
The fire broke out around 11 a.m. at the Crown Food Mart and Gas Station at 1441 Kingshighway.
“Upon arrival, there was smoke and fire coming from the roof. Crews made entry to knock it down but were pushed out due to conditions of the fire,” said Assistant Fire Chief Ronnie Harris.
The fire erupted when the store was open, but everyone made it out safely. No injuries were reported.
“We looked up, and the smoke was coming through the ceiling,” said an employee who did not want to be named. “The circuit breaker was on fire, and we all got out of the building. The flames started coming real fast.”
The gas pumps were not damaged, but the building was destroyed.
Washington’s Park Mayor Leonard Moore said he’s heartbroken about the fire. It happened just months after the city’s municipal buildings, including the fire department, burned on Oct. 26. Moore said the city is still trying to rebuild.
“It brings back a lot of heartache, just seeing this and other essential departments we lost,” Moore said. “We are still in the process of trying to get it back together.”
City leaders said the Crown Food Mart wasn’t just a store but the heart of Washington Park. Now all that is left are memories.
“It was a main store that people used to get gas and other items they might need, and this is just another tragic hit to our village,” said Moore. “They can always rebuild. I’m just thankful no one lost a life.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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