SHAMOKIN -- A fire that started inside a business in Northumberland County Monday night burned for most of the day. Now, the building that has housed a neighborhood grocery store for decades in Shamokin will have to be knocked down.
To get to what's left of a smoldering fire, firefighters in Shamokin called in an excavator.
"It's so sad to see it go," said Tammy Brosious.
Penn Jersey Food Mart, the place many consider their neighborhood grocery store on North Shamokin Street in Shamokin caught fire late in the evening. The building continued to burn for hours. It was long enough for Tammy Brosius to leave run errands and then come back.
"I usually do my shopping in there when I need my odds and ends and now it's like, ugh, I'm going to have to go down to Weis for what I need," said Brosious.
Surinder Singh and his wife own the store and a few apartments above the shop. Singh lives about an hour away. He found out about the fire when his tenant called complaining about smoke.
"There was fire all over, fire trucks all over. The whole building was in flames," said Singh.
The owners of the shop want to work quickly to demolish the building so they can start to rebuild. At the same time, that shop has been sitting next to an empty building, a blighted property that neighbors would also like to see demolished.
Over the weekend, hundreds of people lost power when a blighted property that used to house a dress company collapsed. That building is a few blocks away on the same street as the fire.
For Tammy, the coincidence is a reminder that there are still several damaged properties in her community that desperately need to be repaired.
"It's not so far away from each other how things are starting to happen. I'm waiting for another fire to be on Shamokin Street with all the vacant buildings that are behind my house," said Brosius.
The fire is still under investigation.