BOGALUSA, La. - A steady stream of curious customers pulled into the parking lot of The Salvage Store, a discount grocery, only to be turned back around Tuesday.
"I was like whoa, what's going on," said Stefen Givens.
The store fell victim to a fire Monday afternoon, effectively shutting the businesses' doors, at least temporarily, and leaving shoppers with limited alternatives catered toward the area's low-income families.
"People love it. People need it now, so it is going to affect people pretty bad for a while," said co-owner Derek Feske.
The grocery store fire is just the latest loss of business in Bogalusa, including a major commercial fire from a month ago. The events have seriously affected the town's economy.
"It hurts a lot of impact here; local businesses and just the people that it affects, their jobs and their families," said Fire Chief Richard Moody.
To top it off, more than 600 jobs will be lost next month when an international call center closes. Because of that, the town and the store owner are working hard to give Bogalusa a boost.
"Something like this does set back, but this business owner has a very positive attitude and we do have a lot of people like that that do want to stay in this area," Moody said.
Feske said, "We're gonna push and push and push to get it back open because it's, definitely need to get it back open for the people."
Customers are on board to do their part too, including driving all the way to Franklinton to shop at another Salvage Store location, instead of turning to closer big box stores.
“Oh definitely, it's very important for me to shop local," Givens said.
The cause of the grocery fire is still unclear and the cause of the commercial fire remains under investigation.
Employees of the grocery store have been moved to temporary positions at the businesses’ three other Northshore locations in Franklinton, Folsom and Amite, as well as its distribution center in Bogalusa.