Mentone Market goes up in flames early Wednesday morning

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MENTONE, Ala. -  Local fire agencies received a call around 3 a.m. about heavy smoke in downtown Mentone.  When crews arrived on scene, they found the Mentone Market in flames.

"Always with the service station is safety first. So you want to make sure that the gas system is shut off and the power is shut off as soon as possible. And once you get that achieved, you can breathe a little easier," says Chief Joseph Lee of the North Lookout Mountain Volunteer Fire Protection District.

Because of its structure, local fire agencies say it could take some time controlling the fire at Mentone Market.

"When a building burns, you have the ceilings to fall in and shelves, and it just piles up on top of each other," says Chief Lee. "It takes hours and hours to let it slowly burn down and keep it from getting out of control."

They do not know the cause of the fire.

"We just called the fire marshall, being a service station, and they are doing an investigation. And we should know something next week."

They are trying to have the fire completely under control by sometime tonight. They will not leave the scene until the area is completely safe.