By Steve Hansen
A fire broke out early on Sunday, severely damaging Clovis’ Walmart. It began around 3:30 am, according to officials. However, the cause of this fire was not immediately clear.
The fire department was joined by firefighters from the entire region. By midday, the fire seemed to have been put out but it burned for more than three hour.
According to police, all Walmart staff had been located and reported no injuries.
Clovis mayor Mike Morris told reporters that “I have been informed the building suffered substantial losses including roof collapse”.
Clovis Police Department warned residents in the surrounding area to stay away as “this is an actively occurring scene.”
CPD’s Facebook reported that “there is no good excuse to drive past to see” what was happening.
Make other arrangements if this is your main grocery store. The store IS NOT going to reopen on today.
On the scene officials said that the fire seemed to have originated on the south-side of the building, but refused to provide any additional information.
Bryan Mizelle who lives in close proximity to Walmart, off Llano Estacado said that he could hear sirens Sunday morning. It sounded similar to rain hitting metal.
The man said when he went out, he saw fires.
Jennifer Mizelle (Bryan’s wife) said she brought her two sons to Planet Fitness on Prince Street. They could then see the Walmart Fire and heard multiple pops.
Melrose Fire Department vehicles drove past her, she said.
Jennifer Mizelle told a Walmart associate she knows that she was at Walmart when the car section of the south-side store caught fire. Jennifer Mizelle was informed by the Walmart employee she knows that there were no injuries amongst employees.
On social media, a video shows Walmart employees in the parking area watching what looks like large flames coming through the roof of the building.
Clovis police issued an announcement late Sunday morning reporting that 3:36 in the morning, emergency crews were summoned.
On arrival, Officers and Fire Personnel informed that the building had been set ablaze, according to the press release.
Clovis firefighters were asked to call in additional fire services from nearby agencies due to “the size and intensity of the fire.” Cannon Air Force Base responded with fire services, as did Melrose, Ranchvale and Pleasant Hill (New Mexico), Texico, Portales (New Mexico), Grady (Texas), Farwell (Texas) and Bovina.
According to police, the store would be closed until officials determine the cause of an inferno. Access to Walmart’s parking lot is restricted to firefighters, police officers, and others designated by Walmart. “Please plan accordingly as the store may close for longer,” stated the press release.
The following is also from the press release:
Walmart is contacting you through text messages and emails to direct you to Portales Walmart if you need prescription drugs that are typically served by the Walmart Pharmacy. Orders and pick-ups for the Clovis Walmart are being redirected. You can contact Walmart for any questions.
Clovis police captain has called the state fire marshal for assistance in this case. Roman Romero was quoted in the press release.
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