Sat. night Blaze engulfs Apple Barrel
By By BRIAN BLACKLEY
Sitting as one of Atmore's most colorful landmarks for more than 12 years, The Apple Barrel was ravaged by a devastating fire over the weekend, but store owners Shannon and Carl Cooper say the setback is temporary.
The loss was a hard one to bear for the Coopers, but Shannon is optimistic about the future.
The blaze is under the investigation of the Atmore Fire Department, though the cause has not yet been officially stated.
According to Fire Chief Gerry McGhee, the call came in at 9:40 p.m. Saturday night. Upon arrival, the department personnel on board the two pump trucks and in the service truck and rescue van realized that the blaze was roaring inside the building.
The fire caused extensive damage to the front area of the building and of the outside "open air market," Cooper said, but the office and portions of the back of the building were not extensively damaged.
As for the distinctive look of The Apple Barrel, Cooper says she and her husband plan to see things return to the way they were.
According to McGhee, the Atmore Fire Department and independent investigators representing the company that insured the building are investigating the cause of the fire.
McGhee said fire department personnel stayed on the scene until about 1 a.m. at which time they saw no other fires re-form and left the scene.