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Fire levels Burlington business

Burlington – An early morning fire in Burlington today left one family without a business, and another without a piece of its heritage.

Wednesday, December 01, 1999

Burlington – An early morning fire in Burlington today left one family without a business, and another without a piece of its heritage. Firefighters responded to the fire, which broke out in the ceiling of Bowen’s Auction House on Burlington-Macedonia Road, at about 7:40 a.m., said Ray Carey, Fayette Township Volunteer Fire Department chief.

"It was in the ceiling when we arrived," Carey said. "We tried to attack it, but we had equipment problems. There also were a lot of items in the building and separate walls. It made it that much more difficult."

The department experienced hydraulic problems with their truck this morning, Carey said. Other volunteer departments assisted in battling the blaze, however.

Fayette Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 and Chesapeake-Union Township Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene.

The cause of the blaze is not yet known, but the fire will be investigated, Carey added.

"We need to get it out first," he said.

Standing across the street, Perry Brock watched as the building, which had been in his family’s possession for more than 40 years, burnt to the ground.

"My grandpa built the building and my dad built the addition," he said.

Area residents might remember that the building used to house Hager’s Grocery Store, Brock said.

Although insured, there are no plans to rebuild the building at this time, he added.

Recently, the building had stood vacant until Renee and Gary Bowen leased the property for their auction house, said Joe Edwards, a family friend.

"It was an asset to the community," Edwards said. "The building had set vacant for years. They cleaned it up inside, put gravel down outside. It was a nice building. I guess we’ll have to find another building and get him back on his feet."

Whether that building will be located in Burlington, though, is not decided, Edwards added.

Although firefighters battled the blaze more than two hours after arriving on scene, there was no danger to surrounding structures, Carey said.

"We had a little water runoff, but I don’t think there was too much damage done," he said. "There are no problems for other residents."