Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2008

Fire destroys Urbana area liquor store

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Investigators still have not announced what caused the Saturday afternoon fire that destroyed Franklin Liquors, in the 2900 block of Route 355 south of Urbana.

The afternoon fire gutted the building, and it now stands deserted and cordoned off by yellow barricade tape. Its parking lot is inaccessible, pending investigations and clean up.

According to a press release from the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services, damages are estimated at $1 million, and the building and its contents are a total loss.

Shortly before firefighters were notified of the fire Saturday, the store’s owner noticed a burning smell and asked several customers if they noticed as well. A passerby then saw fire coming from one of the building’s vents and told the owner, who called 911.

Firefighters arrived to find the fire had spread to the roof, and were unable to contain the blaze before the roof collapsed. They had to extinguish the fire from outside the building.

About 50 firefighters from Frederick and Montgomery counties responded, and brought the blaze under control in about one hour. No firefighters or civilians were injured during the incident.