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Fire engulfs Family Dollar store in north St. Louis

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Updated at 5:30 with additional details.

ST. LOUIS — A fire ripped through a Family Dollar store Wednesday afternoon in north St. Louis.

The St. Louis Fire Department responded to the blaze at 4344 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive just after 4 p.m. The store is located at the border of the Vandeventer and Ville neighborhoods. No one was injured in the fire at the store, which was open at the time for business. 

Heavy smoke was billowing from the one-story building, but that quickly gave way to an eruption of flames that eventually forced firefighters to abandon their efforts to extinguish the fire from inside, fire Capt. Garon Mosby said.

"Our members came in and attempted to locate the fire," he said. "We were at it for quite some time, and while we were doing that, the fire was growing and building."

Fire investigators were on the scene, and a bomb and arson unit has been called in to help determine the cause, Mosby said. "To have a fire this advanced in an occupied, functioning store is suspicious," he added.

Mosby said the damage to the building was "substantial."

Firefighters got a head-start on heading to the store because they initially were notified by a commercial alarm, Mosby said, and then someone inside the store also reported the fire. 


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