Austin store damaged in fire - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Austin store damaged in fire

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AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- A fire broke out at Sako African Food Market after 10 p.m. Tuesday night. 

The Austin Fire Department contained the fire shortly after arriving on scene.  Although no one was in the building at the time, there was significant damage to the store front.

The store's owner, Ladgr Sako, was in Rochester at the time of the fire.  When he arrived, he said he was "confused."  Almost everything inside was lost in the fire.  Despite the loss, Sako plans to rebuild.

"This is what I love doing best," said Sako.  "This is not going to discourage me from being a business person -- I have the courage in me and I'm going to start all over again."

Other downtown business owners were affected by the flames.  The market is connected to other store fronts.  Christopher Lee Photography had to close for the day due to smoke damage.  Owner, Chris Iverson, came out early Wednesday morning to see the damage.

"We had to wait to get into the building to see if there was any smoke," said Iverson.  "A bulk of our area that got the smoke damage was in the basement."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials believe the fire may have been the result of a chemical reaction of some of the products inside.

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