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WOOD RIVER - The Wood River Shop ‘N Save on East Edwardsville Road remains closed today after a transformer near the store and gas station caught fire on Friday evening.
Wood River Fire and Police Departments arrived on the scene quickly with the call coming in at 5:01 p.m. Thursday.
Wood River Fire Department engineer Brian Crawford said the firemen had to leave the property isolated while they waited for Ameren to arrived to shut off the power to the transformer.
“It wasn’t like putting out a pile of brush,” he said. “We cleared the scene and the store was immediately shut down and the building was evacuated. There was no smoke or fire damage to the Shop ‘N Save structure. We got there and we sprayed the fire on the grass near the propane tank about 40 foot away from the transformers. Anytime you have power lines down or something like this, you have to wait for Ameren to get there.”
Wood River Police formed a block after people left the parking lot to prevent any traffic from coming in to the parking to the store or to the nearby gas station.
“We left the scene at 6:50 p.m.,” Crawford said.
A Shop ‘N Save manager at the Alton store said they had been told power would not be turned back on to the store until this evening, so at the present the store was closed.
The transformer that caught fire was about 15 feet from the Shop ‘N Save store, Crawford said.
The East Alton Fire Department provided mutual aid at the scene, along with Alton Fire Department, who covered the Wood River station while they were at Shop ‘N Save. Crawford stressed that once again the mutual aid network paid off for the Wood River Firemen.
“We have a great group of firemen throughout the area,” he said.