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Convenience store damaged by fire

(EOCI photo)

An early morning fire Tuesday heavily damaged a convenience store on Vernon Avenue in Normal leaving the business closed for an undetermined amount of time.

Normal Firefighters responded to a police officer reporting smoke and fire coming from the roof of the Qik’n’EZ at 1510 East Vernon Avenue at 2:54 AM. Normal Fire Department truck company was the first to arrive at the fire and made hydrant connections and extended the ladder to the roof while the firefighters forced entry into the business and began attacking the fire from the interior.

A greater alarm was struck out which calls in off-duty Normal firefighters to report to their stations and requests a Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) from Bloomington Fire Department. There was no visible fire initially, but heavy smoke throughout the retail space and coming from the roof of the building.

During operations fire was found burning the wooden roof trusses above the suspended ceiling throughout the majority of the roof space. Fire crews pulled the suspended ceiling tiles down so they could get into the open space between the ceiling and the roof. The main body of fire took about 45 minutes to extinguish, but firefighters remained on the scene throughout the morning extinguishing hidden pockets of fire in the roof and insulation material.

Fire investigators worked throughout the morning to investigate the origin and cause of the fire, but at this time there has been no official determination and the fire remains under investigation.

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