Blair County grocery store catches fire

Local News

ALTOONA Pa. (WTAJ) — A grocery store in Blair County caught fire this evening.

The Altoona Fire Department was on the scene around 7:30 p.m. Deputy Chief Michael Tofano said when his crew arrived on the scene, they saw smoke spilling out from the back and front of the building.

“Our first and foremost priority is life safety, so with no one being in there we went right into trying to save this property and business as much as we could,” he said.

It happened at Gary’s Groceries and More at 906 Green Avenue in Downtown Altoona.

Tofano said the flames were out in 30 minutes, but it took two and a half hours to completely control the scene. He added his crews had to pull down the walls and ceiling in the store to extinguish any hot spots that could reignite.

“That is one of challenges of this type of building. There’s big spaces that the fire can get into, so we have to spend a lot more time making sure that all of those spaces are opened up, in order to ensure that the fire is out and we can safely extinguish it,” he said.

In the video here, you can see the damage that was done to the outside of the building.

No injuries were reported.

Photos: Gretchen Glatfelter

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