Early Morning Fire Results in Heavy Smoke Damage to Lidgerwood Market
Firefighters say the building is a complete loss due to the smoke damage
LIDGERWOOD, N.D. — Around 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters from Lidgerwood and Hankinson converged on the Lidgerwood Market after reports of smoke in the building.
Fighting through layers of false ceilings and compartments, firefighters found the fire stopped itself before it could spread further.
“It just starved itself from oxygen. It didn’t have enough to really get itself going, which I don’t know how. It’s not like it’s an old building, there’s got to be plenty of ventilation, but for that much soot, it was looking for oxygen to get it to go,” said Chief Ronald Heley of the Lidgerwood Fire Department.
No employees were inside the store when the fire broke out.
Even after putting out the fire, they noticed that the blaze left its mark throughout the store.
“All the cash registers are all melted, all the groceries that were in the store are all destroyed and melted, plastics on both ends of the store, the heat was so intense, you could see the black windows were all sooted up,” said Brett Lambrecht, the Director of Emergency Services for Richland County.
The grocery store has operated in this location for thirty years, becoming an important staple of the community.
“It’s devastating to be talking to people in town here, it’s devastating for them when they have one grocery store and not all these convenience stores, it’s tough when you lose your main grocery store in your town,” said Lambrecht.
Even though the building’s structure is still intact, the blaze’s impact inside is hard to overlook.
“There is complete smoke damage throughout the front area here, heat damage, fixtures melted. I would say it’s a complete loss,” Chief Heley said.
Firefighters say the building was at least 80 years old, and been home to a farm machinery dealership before becoming a grocery store thirty years ago.