Convenience store may reopen Tuesday

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MEXICO — Mexico One Stop will re-open at 4 a.m., Tuesday, pending certification by a state inspector from the Department of Health on Monday morning.

The convenience store owned by Gary and Renee Collins, located at the intersection of Route 17 and the Harlow Hill Road, sustained damage from a fire very early Saturday morning.

The fire, confined to the furnace and supply room, was likely caused by a malfunctioning furnace. An investigator is continuing the review and will send the cast-iron furnace to a lab in New Hampshire for further study.

Heavy smoke and carbon monoxide filled the store.

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Collins estimated damages of at least $25,000, about half that isn’t covered by insurance. On top of that, business and wages have also been lost.

He had originally estimated losses at about $5,000, but he said something else is discovered each day. On Monday, he was preparing to take at least $2,000 worth of bottled liquor and an undetermined amount of bottled and canned soft drinks to the transfer station.

But many of their customers have helped soften the accident by their caring.

“A lot of customers stop by to offer to help clean or to haul debris away,” said Gary Collins.

The couple, who live above the store, were alerted to the fire by a smoke detector going off. They are staying with Renee’s parents, Nick and Bernice DiConzo in Rumford, until they can return to their home.

Gary Collins said that might be within a few days.

Several of the business’s 15 employees are helping to clean up the store.

Norm’s Cleaning and Restoration of Bangor was on the scene soon after the fire, clearing out the smoke and odor.

This is the second incident to take place at the store since the Collins returned from vacation in the Dominican Republic a couple of weeks ago, Renee said.

On March 28, an armed robber held up the store and took about $250.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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