Fire strikes Tucson landmark

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Fire strikes Tucson landmark

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jul 2, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Fire struck a Tucson landmark Tuesday.  Tucson Fire called a three-alarm response for Rincon Market in the Sam Hughes neighborhood of midtown.

The fire hit in the middle of the lunch rush.  Firefighters had to clear customers from the market and adjoining businesses, and work to save a business that's been feeding Tucsonans for almost 90 years.
Sonya Dickerson was helping her grandmother in the kitchen when people started yelling, "There's a fire! Get out!
At first she didn't worry...then she did.

"…Cause I think you know there's gas back there so what's going to happen if the fire reaches the gas and we're all standing next to the building, we need to get"
Add a hot day to the heat of the blaze, and Tucson Fire had to rotate in extra firefighters so they could limit heat exposure and cool down before temperatures overcame them.

Tucson Fire Captain Barrett Baker says, "Definitely a resource heavy operation.  Prime time, lunch time, there's going to be a lot of people inside eating.  Obviously we've got to be able to get them out safely, as quickly as possible.  That takes a lot of people to do.  We obviously also asked for assistance with TPD, with traffic control."
Electrical trouble started the fire in the market's attic. 
Now the family that owns the market figures it will be months to rebuild and re-open.

Danny Abbott says, "My parents are the owners of here.  They've owned it for 5 and a half years. They've poured their heart and soul into this place and everything they have is inside there and just to see the damage and the emotions's bad."

Other businesses nearby escaped major damage.  They should be able to re-open soon.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press