Beattyville fire began in grocery

Fire investigators in Beattyville will meet Monday to confirm the cause of the fire that destroyed a block of downtown began at the IGA.

George Huffman, public information officer for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Sunday, "We're confident that (the fire's origin) is at the store. We're confident it was some kind of mechanical or electrical fire in the refrigerator compressor."

Jack's IGA grocery store burned, as did Rose Bros. department store and the Beattyville Enterprise newspaper. All were destroyed.

Huffman said more investigators will be on hand Monday morning to make a final determination about the cause.

Beattyville Fire Chief Greg Brandenburg said Sunday that the first responders saw fire on top of the grocery, near where the refrigeration unit would have been. He said the conclusion "makes sense to me."

Brandenburg also said that firefighters were called out Sunday morning to douse a hot spot at the site of the fire. The department then called city officials to bring in a backhoe to check for more hot spots.

Main Street in Beattyville remains blocked off, although the courthouse is accessible through side entrances.

There has been no looting. Police and fire staffers have been on site regularly, Brandenburg said, and grocery workers and insurance recovery units have been there to salvage what they could.