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Videos: FFs from 4 Pa. counties battle shopping center blaze

Fire in the Martin’s Country Market building extended to the roof and quickly spread


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LINCOLN, Pa. — A fire that spread quickly through Martin’s Country Market in Lincoln on Thursday morning is now under control after more than 80 fire and emergency units from four counties responded to the site.

An employee at the recently renovated store at 117 W. Main St. ( Route 322 ) in Ephrata Township called 911 just before 4 a.m. after noticing fire inside the building, according to Randy Gockley, a public information officer for Lincoln Fire Company, which coordinated the firefighting response.

Firefighters arrived on the scene within six minutes of the call, Gockley said, but the fire quickly spread throughout the building after making its way to the roofline, which is lined with rubber.

The building did not have a sprinkler system, Gockley said, as such a system was not required when the building was constructed in the early 1980s. He estimated the damage in the “multimillions of dollars.”

Black smoke could be seen pouring out of the building from at least 3 miles away. The roof closest to Hackman Road was seen caved in as well; crews began tearing the far side of the structure down.

PennDOT initially shut down Route 322 in both directions.

Around 9 a.m. fire crews began tearing down part of the northwest side of the building, facing Hackman Road, to better get at the blaze.

The store confirmed the fire on its Facebook page, announcing that it would be closed indefinitely.

Nevin Martin, who owns the market, said 120 people work at the site, which includes two other businesses, Martin Water Conditioning and Martin Furniture & Mattress.

The market has been a staple in the community since the 1980s.

“Our intent would be to continue that,” said Martin, who is committed to rebuilding. He did not know what caused the fire.

One firefighter injured his ankle while fighting the blaze.

Martin’s business was founded in 1932, and the current facility was established in 1983. It was most recently renovated in 2023, which added two new entrances as well as outdoor lighting and signs.

This is the second major fire in that business corridor in the last three years. In August 2021, a fire ripped through Weaver Nut Co., 1925 Main St., in Clay Township, a mile west of Martin’s on Route 322. The business relocated as a result of the fire.

W Donuts in Akron posted on Facebook that it closed for the day, as it gave all of its donuts to the crews fighting the fire.

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