ORANGEVILLE, Pa. — A smoky fire damaged two businesses in Columbia County Thursday morning.
The fire started around 10 a.m. in the building that houses Hess Market and quickly spread to Hess Do It Center on Route 487 in Orange Township, outside Orangeville.
Heavy smoke was pouring from the building as crews responded.
Firefighters believe it started in the convenience store and spread to the hardware side.
The gas pumps were not involved in the fire, and crews were focused on removing a propane tank from the area.
Orangeville Fire Chief Kevin Boyd tells Newswatch 16 that crews had a lot of issues with water. They had to call in about a dozen extra tanker trucks to help with the water issues. The water source to fight the fire was about a half-mile away.
"The size of the building — the building is a commercial building. There is paint, oil, canned gas. There is a lot of fire load," Chief Boyd said.
Debbie Sokol's family built both stores — Hess Market in 1987 and Hess Do It Center in 1993. The family still owns the hardware store.
"It's a sad day. My dad is very distraught. He said 45 years of his life gone up in smoke."
No one was injured.
A state police fire marshal believes the fire started near the convenience store's electrical panels. He does not believe the fire is suspicious.
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