Third blaze breaks out, destroys former store

April 22, 2002|By MARIO RENTER√ćA
  • A vacant convenience store at 520 S. 6th St. in El Centro is engulfed by flames Sunday. LEWIS BUSCH PHOTO

Staff Writer

A third fire at a closed El Centro market is being investigated by the El Centro fire and police departments and is again thought to be arson.

El Centro Fire Battalion Chief Chris Petree said two engines and nine firefighters responded to a fire at Sixth and Orange streets in El Centro about 12:40 p.m. Sunday.

The building that burned down was the former Lou's Grocery, which has long been closed and has sustained damages from two previous fires.

The first fire happened Oct. 3, when juveniles broke into the former market, vandalized it and started the fire. The second fire occurred about three weeks ago and also is thought to have been arson.


Petree said firefighters were told by a witness there were some juveniles in the area before the fire started Sunday. He said fire officials are working with police to find those juveniles.

He added the fire was extinguished in about 10 minutes. The building was scheduled to be demolished even before the fire.

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