ASHFORD, W.Va. — Firemen arrived on the scene of a blaze in the Boone County community of Costa early Friday morning, but could do very little to save the burning building.

“When we arrived on scene the building was fully involved and the roof had already started collapsing,” said Racine Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jackie Hayes. “I’d say it had already been burning for quite a while before anybody called about it.”

The building formerly housed an IGA grocery store, but was now a locally owned convenience store and gas station. The building included an apartment built on where the owner and his wife resided. According to Hayes however, the owner was out of town.

“It was so far gone, we didn’t even attempt to go in,” said Hayes. “The roof was collapsing so we didn’t send anybody inside. We just fought it from the outside.”

A cause for the fire, which was finally noticed about 1:30 a.m. is under investigation. The state fire marshal has been notified and is looking for a cause. The building was a total loss.

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