Jan. 27--DELAVAN -- Investigators are trying to determine what caused a Delavan grocery store to catch fire and burn to the ground early Sunday morning.
Delavan Fire Chief Rodney Ashby said at 3:05 a.m., his department was notified of a fire at Delavan Finer Foods at 505 Locust St. in Delavan.
"When we arrived, there was already heavy smoke showing," he said. "We could already tell that we were not going to make entry and be able to save it safely. It's a total loss."
The store is owned by Indra Rathod, who lives in Rockford. His brother-in-law manages the store.
"I was informed about 5 a.m. and immediately drove down," Rathrod said. "I'm just very disappointed."
The store employed a total of four people, Rathrod said.
Firefighters were on the scene for about 12 hours.
"The cause is still under investigation," Ashby said. "Fortunately, we had a good day to be able to look for the cause and make sure that all of the hot spots were out."
Six other departments assisted the Delavan Fire Department including crews from Green Valley, San Jose, Emden, Cincinnati, South Pekin and Tremont. There were no injuries reported.
"At one time I checked and it was 17 degrees," Ashby said. "But we were able to keep the water flowing. We would never have been able to do that without the help of those other departments."
An arson inspection unit was on the scene Sunday, which is standard procedure for suspicious fires.
Lori Ann Cook-Neisler contributed to this story.
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