by: Paige Hansen Updated:
CHESTERFIELD, S.C. - The Chesterfield Feed & Seed Store is a total loss after a fire started in the downtown building Friday afternoon, the Chesterfield Fire Chief said.
It took fire crews hours to put out the fire in the store filled with feed and merchandise.
Chesterfield residents said the store has been a community staple more than four decades.
"I remember that building when they used to grade eggs in there," said longtime Chesterfield resident Reese Nivens. "I mean now it's gone."
The family that owns the store was too devastated to talk on camera Friday, but gave Eyewitness News a picture of what their store looked like before a fire started in a storage room this afternoon.
"Oh God, it scared me to death," Jason Garris said.
Garris said his 20-year-old son works at Chesterfield Feed and Seed.
"I rushed up here and when I got up there, the building was fully engulfed at that time," Garris said.
The main building burned quickly and people nearby heard what sounded like explosions going off.
Michael White, the Chesterfield fire chief said those explosions turned out to be ammunition that was sold in the store.
"Once it started igniting, exploding, we got all the firefighters out" White said.
The Department of Environmental Control came on scene to investigate any environmental hazards Friday because all the water used to fight the fire causing chemicals from the store to run into a storm drain, and then into a nearby creek.
Water turned blue from dye sold in the store, but officials said that is nothing for concern. Environmental officials are concerned some fertilizer may have ended up in the water.
Officials said it will continue to investigate and test the water for any potential issues but the nearby creek where some off the runoff may have gone, is not a drinking water supply source and people in the area do not need to be concerned.
Chesterfield Feed & Seed Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chesterfield-Feed-Seed-Store-Inc/140831632597365
We will have more information on Eyewitness News at 11 and check back for updates to this story on wsoctv.com.