UPDATED: Fire destroys Allison grocery store - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATED: Fire destroys Allison grocery store


The only grocery store in one Butler County town is destroyed following an early morning fire.  Fire broke out at the J & C Grocery Store on Main Street in Allison around 4 a.m. Sunday.  Eight fire departments were called in to help fight the blaze.  Two firefighters were injured while trying to enter the building. 

Several people lined Main Street in Allison Sunday afternoon outside J & C Grocery, but not to do their shopping.  They were looking at what's left of the store after it was gutted by an early morning fire.

"Kind of freaked out.  Never seen anything like it before in my life," said Allison resident Herman Kruse.

Initially, fire crews didn't think the blaze was too serious.  But as cell phone video sent to us by a viewer shows, flames quickly shot into the air.  Matters were complicated as firefighters had to wait several minutes to begin their work.

"We tried to gain entry but we couldn't because the power was still on and didn't feel it was safe to enter.  We had a hard time getting the power company here to get it shut off," said Allison Fire Chief Brad Cooper.

Once it was turned off and crews began attacking the flames, there was another problem to tackle.  Two Parkersburg firefighters were spraying water through an opening in the storefront, when a brick wall collapsed on them.  Luckily, quick action by fellow firefighters means their injuries are not life-threatening.

"Firefighters worked awful hard, got them guys out and got them to the hospital," Cooper said.

And Chief Cooper also credits outside departments with helping save the tavern and newspaper office located on either side of the grocery store.  But unfortunately, the grocery store is a total loss, which means people in Allison will now be traveling at least 10 minutes away to do their shopping.  They're just holding onto hope that the store's owner will one day rebuild.

The cause of the fire still isn't known, but it's not thought to be suspicious.  The State Fire Marshal is assisting with the investigation.

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