HOLLY BLUFF, Miss. (WJTV) – Flames erupted in one of a Delta town’s oldest businesses, leaving the community without any resources for fuel and farm equipment.
It’s another slap in the face for Holly Bluff, already struggling after the backwater flood.
The Delta Town of Holly Bluff has been through so much in 2019 losing almost their entire agriculture business to the backwater flood. But now they have to lose their only gas station and hardware store for farmers too as the building went up in flames this morning.
The call came in at 2:16 A.M. as fire engulfed the Price Oil Company store and gas station.
“It could have got to that propane tank right next to that building,” Holly Bluff Fire Chief Glen Reams said. “You see gas pumps it could have gotten to those and exploded right here in town. But we were able to get that knocked down and keep it away from the gas pumps.”
Like many rural Delta businesses the Price Oil Company building built in 1941 holds a great deal of history and memories serving Holly Bluff.
“I’ve enjoyed being here and I really hope we’ve contributed to the community,” Owner Buddy Strong said. “And have made a lot of friends.”
As the years have gone by Holly Bluff has seen dozens of local businesses and stores close their doors for good. Now their only gas station and hardware store is another one gone.
“You don’t realize how much you rely on something until it’s gone,” Holly Bluff Community member Mary Huff told us. “And this was our only source of gas, hoses, and things for the farmers, parts for the tractors and things.”
“He fixed hydraulic hoses for equipment and sold batteries, nuts, and bolts for all kinds of stuff,” Holly Bluff Farmer Keith Goodman said. “We’ll have to drive to Rolling Fork or Yazoo City every time we need something now.”
Investigators are still unclear about how the fire started. But owner Buddy Strong has had a history of break in’s on the property and doors usually locked were found busted open when firefighters first arrived.
“The door in the front was still attached and the windows were still in,” Fire Chief Reams said. “The door around the side was open and there were flames coming through the roof.”
“I had a young man break-in and he took a hammer and knocked the dial off my safe,” Strong said. “If you look back their now you’ll see the safe door is open. It was closed when I left here on Saturday.”
The investigation is ongoing as the what or who may have caused the fire. If you have any information you are urged to call the Yazoo County Sheriff’s Office at 662-746-5611.