ANTEWRP, Ohio (WANE) – Eight fire departments battled flames at a grocery store in Antwerp Tuesday night.
The Antwerp Fire Department was first called at 8:19 p.m. to the River Street Market, 112 East River Street. The store closed for the night at 8 p.m.
Employee Kennedy McMichael told NewsChannel 15 a small fire broke out in the breakroom. In a matter of about 30 seconds flames spread through the entire store.
The fire crews to the fire found smoke and flames at the back of the building. It wasn’t long before smoke and flames were shooting out from all directions.
An aerial ladder truck was called from Paulding as were additional departments to supply water.
“The issues they contended with was one, the water supply,” Paulding County EMA Director Edward Bohn said. “The village water treatment plant was running at maximum amount.” Water tankers from nearby departments filled temporary ponds to supply water to firefighter hoses.
Crews also contended with the electrical lines at the back of the building.
“Until that was secured crews were then able to make a more aggressive attack,” Bohn said.
“I’m in shock,” McMichael told NewsChannel 15. “It’s the type of place where you know everybody by first name.”
Four people were inside the store when the fire broke out but they were all able to get safely outside.
No injuries have been reported.
Bohn said the fire is one of the largest the village has ever had.
The grocery store has a long history as the primary grocery store in the small town of about 1,700. The market was formerly Kammeyer’s IGA. It’s been the primary grocer in Antwerp since the 1950’s. The store started small and has had several additional through the years. Fred Kammeyer, who owned the store for decades – died in 2002. Kammeyer was originally from Woodburn. The store became known as River Street Market – with new owners – in May 2013.
Antwerp is located about 25 miles northeast of Fort Wayne.
Fire departments from Paulding, Payne, Cecil-Crane Township, Hicksville, Woodburn, Sherwood and Delaware Township all assisted. Antwerp and Hicksville EMS crews were also called as were members from the American Red Cross. More than 60 first responders worked the fire, according to the Bohn.
The state fire marshal is expected in Antwerp Wednesday to investigate a possible cause.