By Juanice Gray, email@example.com
There were no serious injuries resulting from a fire that demolished a landmark in the Campti community. I spoke with one of the owners Monday morning on scene and he stated a family member saw the fire and reported it. One person reported a laceration to the arm. The 911 records show the call came in at 10:33 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20.
The interior of the store suffered heavy smoke, fire and water damage as did the home behind the store. Both properties are owned by “Mohammed Sahd and others” and were determined a total loss.
The store has been the source for groceries and necessities for local citizens for several decades. Many remember the days when Johnny and Sammie Land Guilliams operated the store as G&L Grocery. The store sold groceries, had a full meat market with on site butcher and staples such as bread, milk, ice cream and sodas as well as cigarettes.
The following owner, Billy Moseley, added liquor and they also sold livestock and pet food.
Sahd, who renovated and redesigned the store since purchasing, stated they plan to rebuild.
The best account of the incident comes from those who responded throughout the night. There were approximately 30 firefighters, both professional and volunteer, battling the blaze. Responders included Fire Districts 3, 6, 7 and 9, SWEPCO, Atmos and Natchitoches Parish EMS. State Police Troop E, hazmat and the State Fire Marshal were also notified. As of 8 a.m. Monday morning, Fire Dist. 9 volunteer Ricky Armstead remained on scene to watch for hot spots.
From Fire Dist 9: “Firefighters arrived at the location six minutes later (after the initial call) to find a structure fully involved with fire that had extended into a adjoining commercial structure (M&M Grocery ). Firefighters immediately started a defensive attack on the structure that was fully involved with fire and made entry into the M&M Grocery store. Mutual aid was called in from Natchitoches Fire Districts 3, 6 and 7 to help battle the blaze. After a while, firefighters were removed from the interior of the grocery store for safety purposes and a defensive operation was conducted on this structure also. The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office was notified and investigators were dispatched to the scene. There was one minor injury to the occupants of the structure and no injuries to firefighters. Fire units remained on scene Monday morning extinguishing hot spots. At this time the fire does not seem suspicious in nature, but the investigation is continuing by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal.”
Photos by Juanice Gray