The Mid-Way Market and an apartment on the second floor of the market are now just a charred mess.
Firefighters say the fire started in the kitchen and spread throughout the building in minutes.
Exclusive home video taken by Jeb Alfareh shows his family's 22-year old business going up in flames.
Alfareh grew up in Terra Bella and says his family's mini mart was well-known in town.
"We've just been part of the community since 1988 we pretty much know everybody in this small town it's really just a shock at this moment that it happened. just-- don't know how it happened and what happened," Alfareh said.
Tulare County Fire says a customer noticed smoke coming from the kitchen of the Mid-Way Market and alerted the clerk, who tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. It was too late.
"It was thick smoke too he couldn't see where it started," Alfareh said.
The clerk working at the time also lived in the two-bedroom apartment upstairs.
Twenty-five firefighters spent three hours cautiously trying to knock down the fire, because of a number of hazards on scene.
"We had power lines overhead eventually power lines on the east side of the structure did fall. We had a propane tank in the back as well as the gas pumps," Capt. Travis Latour said.
Firefighter Travis Latour grew up in Terra Bella and says the building has been a staple in the community for decades.
Alfareh says he, his parents and six siblings lived in the upstairs apartment when they first moved to Terra Bella to run the market.
"I mean, obviously we have insurance but…it's just to me we have a lot of memories built up in this store and we're just at a loss for words right now."
Firefighters still haven't determined the cause of the fire. Alfareh still isn't sure if his family will rebuild the market.
The family is estimating the loss at around $500,000.NEWS BY LOCATION | ABC30 BLOGS | DISCUSSION FORUMS
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