BEATTYVILLE — Heavy equipment tore apart the remains of a grocery store Friday where a downtown fire was suspected to have started the day before.
Excavating equipment was brought in to remove debris, some of which was deposited in the Main Street and Walnut intersection.
"We're going to get that out and then look at possible causes of the fire," said George Huffman, public information officer for the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Work began about 9:30 a.m. Friday to remove the debris, Huffman said.
The fire destroyed Jack's IGA, Rose Bros. department store and the Beattyville Enterprise newspaper.
There were signs of recovery on Friday. The Lee County courthouse, closed during Thursday's fire, reopened, as did the Beattyville Post Office, which firefighters saved.
But Beattyville was under a boil-water advisory until further notice because so much treated water was used to fight Thursday's fire, Lee County Fire Chief Johnny Mills said.
"It's just a safety precaution," Mills said.
IGA owner Jack Gross reiterated that he plans to put a grocery back into downtown Beattyville. Customers and city officials had lamented the loss.
His daughter, Rebecca Evans, said community support has been overwhelming.
"Everybody's love and compassion has been very uplifting," Evans said.
The store employed more than 20 people, she said.