Johnson County Metro

North Liberty Fareway grocery store reopens following fire

Employees worked to 'clean, deodorize and get the smell out'

The Fareway store in North Liberty. (Rob Clark/The Gazette)
The Fareway store in North Liberty. (Rob Clark/The Gazette)

NORTH LIBERTY — The North Liberty Fareway grocery store has reopened following a fire Sunday morning.

Employees worked Sunday and Monday morning to clean up the store and restock shelves.

Rich Beckwith, district superintendent, said the fire was caused by an overheated refrigerator case in the store’s produce section.

Firefighters were called to the store at 615 Westwood Drive at 10:32 a.m. Sunday for alarms going off and smoke coming from the store’s roof. Crews discovered that the entire store had filled with smoke and that the refrigerator case was on fire. A sprinkler in the store helped keep the fire in check until firefighters extinguished it.

No injuries were reported.

The Fareway store is closed on Sundays and did not immediately reopen for business Monday morning as Beckwith said crews were working to “clean, deodorize and get the smell out.” He said anything perishable was thrown away.

“We pitched anything we thought would be damaged just to be safe,” Beckwith said. “We’re getting 100 percent fresh produce sent in today right off the truck.”

Beckwith and Myron Hoffman, the store’s grocery manager, said Fareway employees from the North Liberty store and other locations stepped up to help get the store ready for reopening. Hoffman said some customers also showed up Sunday offering to lend a hand, a gesture much appreciated, although not accepted.

“We appreciate the patience of our local customers,” said Hoffman.

The 23,000-square-foot store opened on March 10, 1999. It is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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