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Town’s only grocery store reopens months after fire

It’s a rebirth of sorts for a community, devastated by fire.

This past August, a fire heavily damaged a large portion of Downtown Beattyville, in Lee County.

Several businesses were destroyed, including the community’s only grocery store.

But the IGA opened again for business Wednesday morning.

Shoppers flocked to the store, saying they desperately needed it rebuilt.

“We’re used to going to the store out of town, that’s kind of inconvenient and it doesn’t carry name brands,” shopper Vicky Chambers said. “We’re looking forward to see what all he carries.”

The IGA is reopening after the massive fire in August, 2009 that destroyed several downtown buildings.

The loss of several businesses hurt the community, and it was a setback for the grocery store.

“It was just devastating, just a real tragedy, to look up one day and see your whole life gone,” Store Owner Jack Gross said.

The store took less than ten months to rebuild, which was less time than expected.

Gross says he’s just happy to be back doing what he loves.

“We are looking forward to just seeing everybody and to get back to business and being able to do what we like to do,” Gross said. “And serve the community and do a good job.”

The IGA is the first building destroyed in the fire to be rebuilt completely.

Just days after the fire, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said investigators believe the fire started in a compressor on a refrigerator.


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