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Fire damages Henicle's Market building

April 23, 2004|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - A community grocery store that's been in business for about 40 years lost most of its inventory Thursday in a fire that started in an attic storage space.

Firefighters were able to save the Henicle's Market building at 11359 Anthony Highway north of Waynesboro, Pa., but heavy smoke and water damage left the inside of the store a mess.

"I'm dumbfounded right now," said Kerry Bumbaugh, one of the store's owners.

Fire investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the 8 p.m. fire, but had no reason to believe it was due to foul play, said Waynesboro Fire Chief Ron Flegel.

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Bumbaugh said he couldn't say Thursday how much inventory was lost, what insurance will cover or when the store would reopen.

He was making plans to move some of the frozen foods to a nearby warehouse and sent an employee inside the store to retrieve essentials, including employees' paychecks.

Thelma Kell, 60, said she was working at the meat counter when she heard the fire alarm. She walked outside to see smoke rolling out of the roof.

The phone lines were down, but someone outside called the fire department from a cell phone, she said.

Lt. Bob Blizzard, who was one of the first firefighters on the scene, said he saw heavy smoke coming from the back of the building.

Fire was concentrated in the attic, which was being used to store business records, among other things, he said.

About 70 firefighters from six area fire companies helped bring the fire under control in about 20 minutes, he said.

"When I got here they said the fire was out and no one was hurt. That was 90 percent of my worry," Bumbaugh said.

One firefighter was taken to Waynesboro Hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation, Blizzard said.

Traffic on Anthony Highway, Pa. 997, was shut down for more than two hours.

There are two other stores in the small Henicle's chain. One is on Second Street in Waynesboro and the other is on U.S. 30 in Fayetteville, Pa.

Longtime employee Andy Sharrah said the Anthony Highway store was built in the 1960s as an outgrowth of a nearby orchard.

Sharrah, who is semi-retired, said he began working at the orchard when he was still in school in 1949. He left town after graduating in 1953, but returned to Henicle's several years later and stayed.

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