Cause of Indiana Store Fire Tough to Pinpoint

October 27, 2011

Investigators in southern Indiana say the extensive damage from a fire that destroyed a large hardware store is making it difficult to determine the cause.

Combustible materials such as paint, solvents and pesticides helped fuel the flames that leapt more than 75 feet into the sky while the George’s Gateway store in Bedford burned Saturday night.

City Fire Chief Jon Wagner tells The Times-Mail that he heard more than 100 explosions from the store. He says the store is “one burned-up place” and that it will be tough to pinpoint a cause.

Wagner estimates at least $1.25 million in damage to the business that opened in 1958.

Store owner Tom Bertolino says it’s too early to know whether he will rebuild.

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