Stone Park fire closes Mannheim from US 20 to North Ave

May 28, 2013 3:01:35 PM PDT
Fire tore through a Mexican grocery store in west suburban Stone Park, shutting down traffic on Mannheim between U.S. 20 and North Avenue.

PHOTOS: Fire at Durango store in Stone Park

Flames shot through the roof of Durango grocery store in the 1600-block of N. Mannheim Road. The store has a small restaurant inside.

No injuries have been reported, but officials are calling it a total loss for the owners.

As firefighters poured water on the burning building, all the Rivera family could do was watch helplessly.

"Unbelievable. It's a business that we've had for over 22 years. It's our livelihood. This is literally what we've known. And this is what all my parents have worked for their life," said Hernan Rivera, the son of the owners.

The Durango grocery store was on the bottom floor of the two-story brick building. As flames shot through the roof of the 30-thousand square foot building, part of the structure collapsed.

The store's manager says the store was open at the time the fire began. When he emerged from his office, he found the potato chips aisle on fire.

He says he tried to put it out with an extinguisher, but the fire had grown too large.

"You got to remember, it's a grocery store. So you've got paper cups, and you have groceries, a lot of packaged goods. So there was a heavy fire load in the building," said Chief Michael Paige, Stone Park Fire Department.

Six apartments were located above the supermarket. All of the residents made it out safely.

Anna Camberros was home at the time.

"This is all I've got. I didn't have a chance to come back and pick up keys, purse, papers, nothing. Birth certificates. Nothing. Everything's lost. Everything's gone," Camberros said.

The owners of the supermarket say they just renovated the building last year. While they are saddened by their loss, they say they are relieved there were no injuries.

"Thank God that nobody got hurt. Everybody was able to get out. Some people were at work. So that's the most important thing," said Rivera.

"My sister is devastated, yeah. She's very hurt. It's unbelievable. They can't even stop it yet," said Sylvia Terrazas, a relative of the owners.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

"We're going to be doing some interviews of the occupants, the building owner, and hopefully we'll have something more tomorrow," said Paige.

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