Huge fire destroys nearly 100 year old gas station overnight

CHESTER, SC (WBTV) - Landmark gas station goes up in flames overnight, but residents are vowing to help the owner rebuild.

When the orange glow lit up the early morning sky in Chester, a lot of people said their memories went up in flames along with the Country Corner gas station which was destroyed.

The store, which is located on Center Road just outside of downtown, had stood in the same location for the better part of a century.

Now, it lays in ruins.

Firefighters got the call just before 1am Monday about the massive fire at the neighborhood shop. When they arrived, they said they found the roof engulfed in flames.

"One of the most challenging scenes that a firefighter can fight is when the roof has been added on to a structure" as in this case said Chester fire Chief Paul Caldwell.

"(It's) very difficult to get to, and by the time we gained entry into the attic, the fire had vented and it was burning through the roof."

Right now there is no cause of the fire, and the final damage amount is unknown, until investigators can get inside and figure out what happened.

Some of the very same firefighters who were battling this fire, said they actually worked at the Country Corner when they were younger. Back when the going rate for an employee was about fifty cents an hour.

Neighbors, who braved the early morning air many only wearing pajamas and robes said it was an iconic building that will be missed.

"This store has been here about eighty years or more. It's apart of us." said Steve Houston.

People who live in the area say they're more like a family than a neighborhood, and they are planning on helping the owner rebuild the store to it's previous glory.

"We gonna build it back, we're going to help him build it back. That's what (we are) about, to help one another.

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