By Jamie Leary
THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A well-known tobacco shop is a total loss after a fire late Tuesday night. Freaky’s smoke shop off Washington Street in Thornton is now just a shell of what it used to be.
The tobacco products store and tattoo parlor is unrecognizable. The CBI has joined the investigation along with arson investigators.
It was just before midnight when firefighters responded to the shop. Crews had to remove bars from the store’s windows and smash glass to tackle the flames, which spread quickly throughout the small building. An officer on scene told CBS4 that he was one of the first to arrive and heard multiple explosions coming from inside.
Around the same time the fire broke out, the store’s manager received a call from the alarm company. When he arrived on scene, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He saw flames shooting out the back of his store and heavy smoke.
“It’s kind of a shame, it’s something that’s so close to me and my heart and my hard work that you see… going up in flames. It’s almost like you see your future going up in flames … for lack of a better description,” said Tom McDougal, Freaky’s manager.
Unfortunately, the damage is so extensive McDougal doesn’t believe there’s much left to salvage.
“They described it as a total loss the second that I pulled up. And two hours later, it was still burning so I am pretty sure it’s all gone,” said McDougal.
A maintenance worker for the smoke shop told CBS4 there was approximately $300,000 worth of product and merchandise in the store.
McDougal says he can’t imagine what could have happened. He said he closed the shop as he always does on Tuesday, and other than a busy day there was nothing unusual about it.
The cause remains under investigation.