Quincy residents saddened over loss of Family Dollar

Published: Aug. 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
By: Erika Fernandez

August 8, 2016

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) -- Quincy residents are still in shock today as they remember the local Family Dollar that burst into flames on Saturday. The fire happened just after 12:30 on Saturday afternoon. No one was hurt, but officials say the building is a total loss.

Broken glass and debris now fill the parking lot of Family Dollar in Quincy. Where a building once stood for over 50 years now sits a scene that some are calling a devastating sight.

"I’m in disbelief, because they was friendly to us and everything. I just can’t believe that somebody or whatever happened. It has affected everybody," says Shemeika Johnson, who works at Subway next door.

Johnson works right next door. She describes the scene as chaotic and scary.

"Customers came in, they were running, said, ma'am do you know that Family Dollar is on fire? And I was like, no, it can’t be. So I went and looked at the door and it was on fire. The little kids was running in here, screaming and hollering and stuff," Johnson said.

Local residents say this store was a prime shopping spot, especially for those that can’t afford much.

"This is a pretty cheap place. Things were reasonably priced and so for the poor people in our area to lose a place like this, it’s going to hurt," says Johnny Burns, a Quincy resident.

"I was so very disappointed because we don’t have a lot here and family dollar was one of the stores that you could go in and find things," says Barbara Bayham, another Quincy resident.

Residents say those that worked at family dollar are friendly, and kind people, and now this town is in shock over the loss of the popular business.

Other businesses in that shopping strip were also closed on Sunday. The fire department says they are still waiting on the results from the state Fire Marshal to determine the cause of the fire.

By: Spencer Allen

August 7, 2016

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) -- "Once I got closer to the building, I realized it was huge flames."

Witnesses describe the scene at the Family Dollar store in Quincy, as smoke and flames burst out the building Saturday afternoon.

That fire started just after 12:30pm. The building itself is located in the 1100 block of West Jefferson Avenue.

One woman who witnessed the whole thing, risked her life to save others.

"The only thing I knew to do was to go one by one individually get all of them out," Jill President went to buy schools supplies at the Family Dollar in Quincy. She was chaperoning six kids, when the fire broke out.

"The kids was the only thing i was worrying about," says President.

Nearly 16,000 square feet erupted in fire. Black smoke filled the air, and the smell of burnt debris hovered over Quincy. It took firefighters several hours to put out the blaze.

"Its tough when you're standing there watching and you can't do anything about it," says witness Tereasa Linzy.

"Its a little heartbreaking. I'm sad, very sad," Jane Rippetoes family has owned the building for more than 40 years. Although the store is a complete loss, she says rebuilding is a no brainer.

"Oh we'll build back," Rippetoes says. "I mean why don't. Yes, we'll build it all back."

Members of the community were in shock.

"It hurt me it hurt my heart," says one witness. "It's was just like you never know whats going to happen right there in front of you," says another witness on the scene.

And for Jill helping six kids flee the fire, some are calling her heroic.

"I guess i was strong because i wasn't worried about no [danger] or nothing i was just worried about the kids," says President.

A charred building with high costs, but thankfully no lives were lost.

The State Fire Marshall's office was on scene. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Quincy Fun-Cade next door has smoke damage, but fire officials say it should be able to be restored.

By: Charlene Cristobal

August 6, 2016

QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) -- A fire has been reported at the Family Dollar store in Quincy.

WCTV has a crew on scene and will bring you the very latest as more becomes available.