Damage from the two-alarm fire at the Big R Service was initially estimated at $2 million, making it the biggest fire since the Nugget lambskin processing plant burned down in January.
The blaze, at 3rd Avenue and 8th Street, was first discovered around 4:30 a.m. after a motion detector in the store went off. When police arrived, fire was coming out the front of the building and the fire department was notified. It wasn't extinguished until around 11 a.m., 7NEWS reported.
Traffic was blocked on streets surrounding the Big R complex to allow firefighters to run hoses from hydrants in the area. At least 40 firefighters responded to fight the blaze, officials said.
Firefighters fought the fire from the outside, deciding not to enter the building because of the size of the fire and the amount of time it appeared to have been burning when it was first discovered.
Oil and hydraulic fluid frm the store mixed with water sprayed on the fire and flowed into the nearby Poudre River. A Greeley Haz-Mat team was called out to prevent the spill from growing. Booms were set up in the river to soak up the oil.
The Big R Service store contained farm merchandise such as tires, tools and products for horses. The owner valued the retail contents at $6 million, according to the Greeley Tribune. The store had 30 employees. After the fire was extinguished, the employees began setting up a temporary store in another Big R building across from the site of the fire.
There is no word yet on what caused the blaze and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation sent fire investigators to the scene to determine the cause.
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