Fire destroys convenience store in Dora
by David Lazenby
Feb 09, 2011 | 4175 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Yerkwood Volunteer Fire Department truck sits in front of TJ’s Convenience Store Tuesday. A blaze destroyed the Yerkwood store around 3 a.m. Tuesday. - Photo by: David Lazenby
A Yerkwood Volunteer Fire Department truck sits in front of TJ’s Convenience Store Tuesday. A blaze destroyed the Yerkwood store around 3 a.m. Tuesday. - Photo by: David Lazenby
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YERKWOOD -- A convenience store that also served as a community meeting place for the residents of Yerkwood is no more. TJ's was destroyed by fire Tuesday.

Raymond Yarbrough, the chief of the Yerkwood Volunteer Fire Department, said firefighters were called to the blaze at the gas station located at 4651 Sharon Boulevard at approximately 3:05 a.m. Tuesday. He estimated that the fire started about 30 minutes earlier.

Although the flames had been suppressed, the building was still smoldering Tuesday morning.

Dora and West Jefferson volunteer firefighters assisted in putting out the blaze.

Mayor Chris Edwards, who's also a volunteer with Dora Fire & Rescue, said fire marshal Phillip Freeman was at the scene of the blaze Tuesday morning. Freeman could not be reached for comment by press time Tuesday.

Edwards said TJ's will be missed by the Yerkwood community.

"Everybody knows where TJ's is," said Edwards who can remember when the facility was a Laundromat. "It's always been a gathering place."

Jimmy Vishram, who has owned the store for about a year, agreed that the loss of the convenience store will be felt throughout the community.

"It will be a big let down if they don't build back because obviously that was a common area for everyone to go to," said Edwards. "Right now for anyone in the Yerkwood area -- or even the low end of Dora -- to get fuel, they're going to have to go all the way to 78 Highway now."