Mt. Enterprise convenience store goes up in flames

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Jeanie's Corner was a Mt. Enterprise landmark. A place where kids would go after a ball game or regulars had their morning coffee.
When Jeanie died, Joe and Stayce Moore knew they had to keep the corner store open.

"I hung around here when it wasn't ours. When we were in high school we all hung around here," said property owner, Stayce Moore. "We've had it for 23 years. My husband's mother bought it, actually when I was pregnant with our first child. We've had it ever since. It's gonna be hard."

Heather, the Moore's daughter was working there to put herself through nursing school. Other employees tonight are without a job.

They worked at the convenience store and at stayce's salon, a business she started a couple of years ago in the adjoining building.

"We got a door in between so everybody just went from one to the other, so a lot of traffic through there," said Stayce. She said the salon was closed on Wednesday so she could make a doctor appointment.

The Moore's owned the salon building. They owned the contents of the convenience store, but not the building itself.

No gas pumps were damaged. Rusk county will be calling in a fire investigator to try to determine what caused the fire.

It's believed the fire started somewhere in the middle, spreading quickly through the salon's wooden walls. Firefighters successfully kept the blaze from engulfing the entire block.

"They were just cooling these buildings down to keep them from catching on fire," said Chief Deniese Case with the Mt. Enterprise Volunteer Fire Department.

Before this morning's fire the Moore's biggest concern was the addition of a competitor locating directly across the street. They planned to rely on their loyal customers to keep the business going. Now those customers will play a different role.

"I have the best friends. We have the best town and the best friends," said Stayce with tears in her eyes.  "My phone, I can't answer because of all the text messages and calls. It's just amazing. "

The family's friends will get them through the loss.

"They will. They will. It's just a building, you know, and no one got hurt. Our employees weren't there so it's wonderful. We're really blessed," said Stayce.

Earlier today

According to Rusk County Sheriff's Department, the fire broke out sometime after 4:00 am at Jeanie's Convenient Store on the corner of Hwy 259 and Hwy 84.

According to a firefighter on the scene, nobody was injured in the fire. Fire crews are still extinguishing hot spots, but the fire is under control.

According to Heather Moore, the daughter of the building's owners, Joe and Stayce Moore, the convenience store was named Jeannie's Corner and it was an Exxon service station with a pizza parlor inside. In an adjoining building was Stayce's Salon.

Moore said the fire started in the middle of the building, and a tar roof made it tough for firefighters to gain control of the blaze.

Firefighters from Mount Enterprise, Laneville, Eastside and Henderson responded and had it under control by 6 a.m., keeping it from spreading to other downtown businesses, Moore said.

Moore said her parents have operated the business for 23 years. Moore was working there to pay for nursing school at Panola College.

Copyright 2011 KTRE. All rights reserved.