Murphysboro Walmart continues cleanup after Wednesday fire, cause still under investigation
MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) – Just a day after a fire broke out in the Murphysboro Walmart on Wednesday morning, crews are starting to clean rooms.
“Well, obviously that will force residents to readjust some of their shopping habits,” Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens said.
Mayor Stephens says the fire in Walmart towns could also mean lower sales tax revenue.
“Walmart is one of the biggest generators of sales tax for us, so there’s no doubt we’re going to see a reduction in revenue. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to be, but time will tell. said Stephens.
80% of the City of Murphysboro’s budget is retail sales tax. Stephens says they won’t know the impact of the retail sales tax loss for a few months.
“The sales tax collected in January is not remitted to the city until April. So we won’t really know what impact it had until 3 months,” Stephens said.
Meanwhile, most of the merchandise inside the store is being removed, mostly due to smoke damage.
“They’ve made significant progress, Walmart has cleaned up the store and removed spoiled merchandise and that sort of thing. They just have a slew of people doing this kind of work,” City of Murphysboro Fire Chief Steve McBride said.
McBride tells me the fire started on the roof and spread to the store.
“There was a lot of damage, especially to the roof. A large part of the roof has burned down. It is a rubber membrane type roof. And a large part was burned. Inside, damage was limited to the footwear department area,” McBride said.
McBride says the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“I went down there today and started an investigation alongside Walmart’s insurance company investigator,” McBride said.
Thick smoke filled the interior of the store during Wednesday’s fire, Mayor Stephens said many products will have to be refurbished or discarded.
“I think some of it will probably be taken over by Walmart’s insurance company and then sold to various salvage companies. Things like hardware can obviously be cleaned. But something like a dress shirt is probably ruined,” Stephens said.
And Stephens is happy that the only damage was to the products and the building.
“I just want to be thankful again that there was no loss of life,” Stephens said.
Heartland News has contacted Walmart for comment. They haven’t responded yet.
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