Landmark store destroyed by fire

By: Whitney Burks
By: Whitney Burks
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SALYERSVILLE, Ky (WYMT) - UPDATED: 6/5/2013 @ 6:07pm

Officials say rodents ate through old wiring and that sparked a business fire in Magoffin County Tuesday.

The Connelley Farm Supply Store went up in flames just before one Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say there was nearly one ton of ammonium nitrate and propane inside and they evacuated homes as a safety precaution.

No one was hurt.
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UPDATE 7:00 p.m.

Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a fire that destroyed an Eastern Kentucky business.

The fire broke out just before 1:00 Tuesday afternoon at Connelley Farm Service in Magoffin County.

They say it started out like any normal day, but before they knew it something was terribly wrong.

"Just all the sudden we heard a big pop sound. A pedestrian pulled in and said the roof was smoking," said Ricky Connelley, family member of the store's owner.

It was not long before the whole building was up in flames.

"It got ridiculous hot. Even though the roof was on fire it got amazingly hot," said Connelley.

When employees realized nearly one ton of ammonium nitrate and propane was sitting inside they knew they were not the only ones in trouble.

Emergency officials sprang into action.

"They was evacuating everybody there, so I've been on standby just in case," said neighbor Barbara Patrick.

They cleared everybody out within a mile radius and closed the road, clearing out nearly two dozen homes while they emptied the flaming store of any explosives.

"Magoffin County is proud of our fire force. They're great first responders. They train hard and they train well. This is a perfect example of it," said Emergency Management Director Mike Wilson.

No one was physically hurt in the blaze, but they say the emotional toll is one they never expected.

"It's been here for I'd say since the turn of the century," said Fire Chief Paul Howard.

What was once a landmark is now nothing more than smoldering remains.

"Everybody in this area knows the Connelley Feed Store," said Ricky Connelley.

The road is open again and people are allowed to return to their homes.

There is still no official cause for the fire, but employees say they believe it was electrical.

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UPDATE 3:15 p.m.

Officials have stated that evacuees are free to go back to their homes or businesses.

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The Magoffin County Sheriff’s Dispatch has confirmed a fire at Connelley Farm Service in Salyersville has forced officials to evacuate several businesses and homes.

Crews are currently fighting the fire right now and about 25 people have been evacuated due to the dangerous nature of chemicals at the store.

Officials believe all explosive material is now out of the building.

Route 30 in Magoffin County has been closed while crews work the scene.

WYMT has a crew on the scene and will provide updates as they become available.


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