A fire Thursday afternoon at Family Dollar did damage to more than $400 in merchandise, but caused no injuries or structural damage.
The Portales Fire Department received a fire call at 12:15 p.m. from the discount retailer, located on 1601 S. Ave. D., according to Fire Marshall Mike Running. By the time help arrived, the fire had been contained by an employee with an extinguisher.
“(A fire like this) just grows exponentially,” Running said. “Two more minutes and we probably would have had something that would be out of control.”
Running said the fire started from a case of paper towels, which likely caught on fire from matches that were found in the vicinity.
Running couldn’t determine whether the fire was started with intent or if it was just a result of horseplay.
Family Dollar closed from the time of the fire until 4:45 p.m., according to manager Tammy Miller.
Miller estimated that $400 worth of paper products were destroyed in addition to smoke damage on a few clothing items.