Nearby Business Manager "Thankful" After Hardware Store Fire

By Lauren Forsythe | 

When fire claimed the Potters Ace Hardware Store in Burkesville Monday, the town was stunned.

As firefighters battled the blaze, plans were canceled and changed.

"You couldn't get through town yesterday, they pretty much closed off the whole main road.You had to go around to all the little back roads to get to anywhere," Daniel Norris says.

For concerned parents like Norris, it was a trip to Columbia to pick up his son and nephews from school.

All schools were bussed to Adair County, where parents say their children escaped the fumes from the fire.

"The phone rang and state police evacuated us. I got up and cleared the store and we went outside and locked up and it was just engulfed in flames," Maleeta Schuenaman says.

For Schuenaman, United Methodist Opportunity Store manager, it was the fear of flames spreading into her store.

She evacuated the store around 12:30 Monday afternoon, and was not allowed to go back until 2, but the store was closed to customers for the rest of the day.

"I'm thankful no one was hurt. I thank God no one was hurt. That could have been... life is not replaceable, things are. We are thankful that our store here, the Mission is not hurt," Schuenaman says.

She says it was less than ten minutes after they evacuated the store, when the roof collapsed.

The loss of Potters Ace Hardware Store will affect the entire town.

"When I would need to fix something or measure, or fix my shelves. I would take a piece over the and I would be like, 'I need help fixing this', and they would always just jump right in and say well you need this or that, you know, 'What can we do to help you?'," Schuenaman says.

Several residents say they look forward to Potters Ace Hardware being rebuilt.

Managers with the Potter's Ace Hardware Store say they will be working at a store in Albany, KY until they are able to work in Burkesville.

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