7Eleven store gutted by fire remembered as gathering place


by Crystal Cruz


Posted on February 1, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 7:04 PM

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PHOENIX -- A fire on Bell Rd. and 64th St. in Phoenix, on Thursday night, was a tough one for firefighters to battle. Spectators watched the ferocious flames take over the 7Eleven.

The owner of the store called 911 reporting a light fixture popped, then the fire started. The owner of the store also watched as his business went up in flames last night, shooting up to 75 feet in the air.

On Friday on-lookers were back taking pictures.

"It's so sad. It's so sad. It's crazy," said Rylee French.

For French and her friend Malori O’Connor the store reminds them of their childhood.

"We used to ride our bikes up here to get Icees when I was a kid," said O’Connor.

People who work and live nearby describe the owner as a really nice guy.

"He's been wonderful. I mean he's really wonderful to the children. He gives them free slurpees," said Terry Kroy.

Ryan Klein worked at the 7Eleven. Klein told 3TV the owner was kind enough to let him promote his music business during work hours.

"Everybody around here knows me as Point Nine. I do music and I gave a lot of the customers my music and stuff. So I know a lot of people in the area, good friends and I'm just sad to see it go," said Klein.                             

The owner of the store did not want to comment on Thursday night and was not around on Friday.

The exact cause of the fire is now known and firefighters are not willing to enter the building because it is not safe. An arson dog will tour the wreckage for accelerants.