Fire destroys shopping center in Commerce

An early Wednesday fire destroyed a shopping center in Commerce, according to the Jackson County Emergency Services.

The strip shopping center was located on Peach Street on the north side of Commerce. A passing motorist spotted the fire and called 911 at 4:34 a.m., Emergency Services Director Steve Nichols said.

The shopping center contained six businesses, including a tobacco shop, grocery store, a used appliances outlet and a church.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Investigators are looking at a possible point of origin.

“A small camper was in the back of the buildings and they are looking at it heavily, but they are still investigating,” Nichols said.

Responding to the fire were units from fire departments in Commerce, Maysville, Harrisburg, Jefferson, Plainview, Nicholson and the Jackson County Correctional Institute.

It took several hours to extinguish the fire and traffic was blocked on the street until 3 p.m., authorities said.