Fire damages Edinburg grocery store

Some damage from Sunday's fire is evident at the rear of Larkin's Grocery. Rich Cooley/Daily
A pile of burned insulation rests outside the front of Larkin's Grocery at Columbia Furnace west of Edinburg on Monday afternoon. A fire Sunday night damaged the store interior and has forced the store to close. Rich Cooley/Daily

EDINBURG – Flames shooting out of the bottom of a drink cooler at Larkin’s Grocery Store startled co-owner Sunny Singh on Sunday evening.

“I was about to close and suddenly, right in front of me, one of the drink coolers, at the bottom, sparks,” said Singh. “Within seconds – flames right at the bottom. I was totally dumbstruck as to what to do. My phone was in the office so I ran to get my phone and when I got back, probably 15 seconds, the flames were as high as the ceiling,”

There were no injuries reported from the fire, which broke out 9 p.m. at the Senedo Road store.

“The reason why, I believe, the building is still standing is because I was inside,” said Singh, who noted that it was a scary experience.

“I look at a drink cooler, I get anxious now … I was dumbstruck, thinking, ‘What do I do?’ and all the smoke and everything and I just ran for my life pretty much,” he said.

Woodstock Fire Assistant Chief Joey Reynolds credited the actions of Singh and co-owner Dalip Singh and a quick response time by area firefighters for limiting the extent of damage to the building.

“I think one key factor why the building was not burned down was that the owners’ quick thinking,” said Reynolds. “They closed the doors and bottled everything up so the fire didn’t get a lot of oxygen.”

Reynolds said 2o to 30 fire personnel responded.

“We had firefighters from Edinburg, Woodstock, Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, Conicville, Mount Jackson and Toms Brook … and we had the fire knocked down by 9:30, 10 o’clock,” said Reynolds. “We had five engines, two tankers, a ladder truck and two ambulances.”

The owners, who bought the store five months ago from Robert Cline, say they are waiting to hear back from their insurance company.

Dalip Singh said they want to reopen as soon as possible.

“We’re going to rebuild,” he said. “If it’s from scratch, we’re going to rebuild from scratch. I’m going to bring it back ASAP.”

He stressed that the store’s customers mean a lot and they want to reopen as quickly as possible.

“This is a community store,” he said. “It belongs to the community, so I’m going to bring it back. Right now, it’s inconvenient for them [the customers].

“Customers have been coming since the morning and giving us support. When I need help, they’re all going to be here, I know.”

Reynolds estimated the damage at between $100,000 and $150,000.

Correction: A quote by Joey Reynolds has been corrected.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com

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