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Fire damages business on Helper's Main Street

General manager

The Helper Mini-Mart was damaged by a fire last week. Responders said it was a difficult fire to fight because of the layers in the roof.

A fire last Wednesday night severely damaged a long standing business in downtown Helper.

The Helper Fire Department received the call to fight the blaze at 11:49 p.m. and units responded within three minutes to the scene.

The fire fighters first concern was about the gasoline storage tanks, but a Helper policeman who arrived on the scene first had used the emergency cutoff switch to stop any flow from the tanks.

The fire was stubborn to get out according to Helper Fire Chief Mike Zamantakis.

"There were three layers of sub roof and the fire was located between all of them," he said in phone interview on Monday. "It only took five to 10 minutes to knock down the flames but we were there until 3 a.m. getting out the fire between those roof layers."

Zamantakis said the department had to use foam to reach some of the hot spots.

The Price Fire Department also responded per an agreement between county fire agencies to back up each other when structure fires occur.

"There was a lot of water and heat damage to the store," said Zamantakis.

The cause appeared to be electrical. The state fire marshal was brought in to investigate the blaze.

The store had closed at 10 p.m. and two of the departments fire fighters said they drove by the building at about 11:30 p.m. on the way home from a meeting and saw no smoke or flames at that time.

The damage was estimated to be about $100,000, but it appears the owners have sufficient insurance to cover the loss.

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