'This hurts': Community reacts after Newport News convenience store destroyed in fire

Posted at 12:27 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 18:03:10-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Newport News Fire Department responded to a large fire at a convenience store on Marshall Avenue Thursday afternoon.

According to the department, the fire at the F&S Supermarket caused multiple road closures. The roads will remain closed for an undetermined amount of time.

The fire did tremendous damage to the local store. Fire crews and NNPD were still at the scene as of 2:15 p.m.

A barbershop owner nearby said this store is a pillar within the community, telling News 3 he shopped there frequently and now doesn’t know where he’s going to go. The nearest Walmart and Kroger from him is a 20-minute drive away, he said.

Jenean, a resident who lives within walking distance from the store, said she has never seen a fire this bad happen so close to her. She said she felt the heat, but the one thing she's going to miss from F&S is their chicken philly sandwiches.

Families said the F&S Supermarket was convenient for them, especially for people within the community without a car.

"That was a store that you go to get your little knick-knacks, cereal, play the lottery, get food for the family," David Doan, the owner of nearby Heavenly Cuts, told News 3. "Now, you know, people who live around here, they're going to have to travel to get food."

Doan has been here for 26 years and owns a barbershop right across the street from F&S. He said the supermarket helped him as a business owner.

"I can get change, the customers can get something and come back while they're waiting on a haircut. Now there's going to be a lot of complaining, it's really going to hurt for real."

With Thanksgiving just days away, Doan said he planned to shop at F&S for a reasonable price.

"I'll go there sometimes. I'm in the store and I want to get some milk; I don't want to go far. I can go over there and get some milk for a good reasonable price. But now you have to go to Piggly Wiggly or Food Lion - that's a distance away."

News 3 spoke with the owner of the store, who did not want to speak on camera. He told us he does not know the cause of the fire just yet.

Luckily, there were no customers in the store and no one was injured.

The owner said his family is helping him out to clean up what's left of his store.