LINCOLN, Ill. (WAND) -- Lincoln IGA owner Charlie Lee did not believe his grocery store had caught fire Friday morning.
"My store manager called me this morning and I thought he was was kidding me," Lee said.
But, it was no joke. Lee's Grocery store, Lincoln IGA, was engulfed in flames.
"A call came into dispatch at 3:55 a.m. this morning -- a passerby saw flames coming from the front of the store," Lincoln Fire Chief Bob Dunovsky said.
"I was on my way to buy some things that this store only has and all of a sudden I see this tragedy," Curt Fox, a Lincoln resident, said.
Shortly after crews put out the fire, Lee arrived to his store and couldn't believe what he saw.
"I was very much so stunned and surprised," Lee said.
Lee has owned the store for more than three decades. This is the second time the store has caught fire.
"We've been through this before. That's what insurance is for. We got good insurance to take care of employees and then get us back into business in a hurry," Lee said.
IGA is a staple in the Lincoln community, but now it's shut down until further notice.
"We had five grocery stores in town, now we're down to three. This is the only one on this side of town. People rely on this business for lots of different things," Dunovsky said.
"I hope there's a comeback, quickly. Lots and lots of people shop here," Fox said.
Lee promises IGA won't be out of commission for too long.
"It's never as good as you hope, but not as bad as you think. It comes out. We'll come out on the other side. We'll be just fine. We've been here for a long time, and we'll be here for a long time to come," Lee said.
Michael Rowland, 38, has been arrested and is accused of setting the fire in the grocery store.