Beattyville residents who used to shop at Rose Brothers Department Store and Jack's IGA could only stand and gape Friday at the burned out shells where those stores used to be.
65 firefighters, 32 from Lee County and 33 from elsewhere, tried in vain to save the structures. Lee County Fire Chief Johnny Mills told
27 NEWSFIRST, "We kept 3 units overnight just for hot spot control, and we're very thankful to all the responding agengies who got here so quick to help us."
ATF's fire investigation unit took charge Friday and hoped to use some valuable information to find the cause. Special Agent George Huffman says, "When you've got eye witness statements as to what's in the place, what occurred at the time,what they observed, what they heard, it helps us tremendously to focus our attention on a certain spot. Right now, we think maybe it was mechanical based on information we got from firefighters and from some of the employees who were inside Jack's IGA at the time of the fire."
Huffman said his agents would review all the information and hopefully know by Friday night or Saturday morning exactly what caused the fire.