Commonwealth Journal

February 15, 2014

Firefighters battle blaze at old grocery store

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Firefighters battled a blaze at a familiar southern Pulaski County location Friday night in adverse conditions.

According to Keith Price, assistant chief of the Parkers Mill Fire Department, the former Sloans Valley Grocery caught fire at about 6:45 p.m. Friday.

The building — which is actually located in the Tateville area — no longer functions as a store, but rather as a residential property. Price said that the owner Frank Sexton lived upstairs, and another man, David Sexton, lived downstairs.

The residents were at home at the time of the fire, said Price.

The fire apparently originated in the lower apartment building, in and around the kitchen area, according to Price. An exact cause was still unknown as of Saturday afternoon.

Price said that the residents noticed the fire in the kitchen area and called responders. The bottom of the building was “pretty well gutted,” said Price.

However, he noted, the Tateville Fire Department “did a really good job” keeping the fire from spreading.

“They got it knocked down and held it on the lower level; there was no (significant) damage to the upstairs,” said Price.

“They saved a lot of the belongings upstairs,” he added, observing that no one was hurt in the incident.

Price described the weather conditions as “becoming a monsoon” at that time, with heavy rains around the county.

“It’s a good thing it wasn’t a few degrees colder, or it could have been a whole lot worse,” he said.

The Burnside, Parkers Mill, and Tateville Volunteer Fire Departments all responded to the scene. Responders remained on the scene for about two-and-a-half hours.