Vehicle fire leads to store evacuation

Published 5:59 pm Saturday, October 30, 2021

A vehicle fire right outside of Hy-Vee Food Store led to the evacuation of the liquor store Saturday afternoon.

Albert Lea Fire Rescue was dispatched at 12:11 p.m. Saturday for a report of a vehicle on fire near Hy-Vee, 2708 Bridge Ave., according to a press release. When firefighters arrived, they found a fully engulfed 2001 Pontiac Aztec, with flames encroaching on the building’s east side, according to the release.

The liquor store part of the business was evacuated as a precautionary measure, as fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze.

After the fire was extinguished, the structure was ventilated.

The Fire Department stated initial investigation found that a mechanical failure in the Pontiac’s engine compartment led to the vehicle fire.

The vehicle was a total loss, as responders directed the evacuation and protection of the customers as the priority.

The structure sustained minimal damage and reopened before crews left the scene.

Damage was estimated at $20,000.