The building, more than 100 feet long and 50 feet wide with an apartment over the center section, was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Larry Colley of the Garrison Volunteer Fire Department.
“We got the call between 5:30 and 6 a.m. and we quickly asked for assistance,” Colley said, adding that firefighters from the volunteer fire departments at Black Oak and Fire Brick responded. “We had 15 of us all together and were there for two and one-half hours. Ky. 8 had to be shut down to traffic during that time.”
He said the apartment was vacant and no one was injured in the blaze.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Garrison department, Colley said.
The store was close to Ky. 8 in the community known as Bentleyville, just east of Garrison and east of the bridge that carries Ky. 8 over Kinniconick Creek.
The Bentley family has owned and operated a lumber store in the area for more than half a century, probably longer, Colley said.
John C. Bentley first opened his lumber store on the rise a short distance behind where the present store stood. His son, John V. Bentley, operated the store that burned Monday morning.
It was the second community landmark building to burn in Lewis and Greenup counties during the last two weeks. The 85-year-old S.M. Roberson building in South Shore burned to the ground in a Dec. 27 early morning fire.
Kentucky State Police investigators have said that fire, which housed Cooke’s Farm Center, resulted from arson. No arrests have been made.
G. SAM PIATT can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236, or firstname.lastname@example.org.