Firefighters injured fighting grocery store fire in Senath

Courtesy Lonnie Rice
Courtesy Lonnie Rice
Courtesy Lonnie Rice
Courtesy Lonnie Rice

SENATH, MO (KAIT) – Three firefighters were injured battling a blaze at the Ramey's Supermarket in downtown Senath Wednesday evening.

Sometime after 3pm Wednesday afternoon Senath fire fighters responded to a report of fire at Ramey's supermarket.

The manager Brent Pierce discovered the fire in the rear of the building.

"I smelled burnt wires. Went to get a fire extinguisher and a ladder to get where we smelled it coming from. By the time we got back it was engulfed in flames, couldn't do nothing with the fire extinguisher so immediately I got everyone out of the store and called the fire department."

The fire spread rapidly according to Senath Fire Chief Kent Montgomery due to the construction of the building. The store was made up of 4 different buildings that had had walls knocked down to make 1 leaving space under the roof for fire to spread quickly.

Chief Montgomery, "The back of the store was on fire when we arrived and there was heavy smoke coming out the back. Multiple roofs over the years. Flat roofs made it difficult to fight fire."

Extra crews and equipment had to be called in from Hornersville, Kennett, Arbyrd and Cardwell.  Water pressure quickly became an issue with so much draw. Tankers were constantly moving in and out refilling pools that the pumpers were drawing from.

Two Kennett firefighters were taken to the hospital with heat exhaustion and 1 Kennett fire fighter was injured when a portion of a brick wall fell on his feet.  Emergency officials said his inury was not believed to be serious.

This is the only grocery store in Senath. Long time resident Evelyn Wicman said this loss will really hurt the small town.

"I don't figure they'll build it back. (why not) I just don't think they will. I just don't think they'll put out the money for it. I wish they would but I'm afraid they won't.

The store is part of the Price Cutter chain based out of Springfield, Missouri.

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