WBOC NewsWatcher Rick Stewart took these photos of Monday night's fire scene at Burton Brothers in Seaford.
SEAFORD, Del.- Authorities continue to investigate a late Monday night fire that heavily damaged a downtown Seaford hardware store that had been in operation for more than a century.
The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office said the fire broke out shortly after 9 p.m. at Burton Bros. hardware store on the 400 block of High Street.
Ron Marvel, the owner of Burton Bros., returned to the scene on Tuesday.
"I've been a volunteer fireman for over 40 years and I ran with these guys last night with this alarm. I've seen this, I know what it is, but when it's your own it's just totally different," said Marvel.
The Seaford Fire Department responded to the scene and was assisted by several surrounding fire departments. Upon arrival they encountered heavy smoke from the two-story building that was built in 1893 and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1980s.
Marvel has been at Burton Bros. for the last 43 years. His father came to the store in 1954 and his grandfather started in 1934.
Firefighters were busy Tuesday pumping about two feet of water out of the basement. Water still leaked from the ceiling making small puddles on the floor.
"These old wooden floors, they're starting to buckle as we speak," said Marvel.
One firefighter is being treated at Crozer Burn Center for injuries sustained while fighting the fire. That firefighter is Marvel's brother. Marvel says is considered to be in stable condition.
Damages have been estimated at $500,000.
Seaford City Manager, Dolores Slatcher says if the business cannot be saved, the city won't be the same.
"Whether there's a permit to rebuild or to demolish the building, it's really too early to give a positive response about what actions we'll take next," said Slatcher.
Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office Investigators say it could take days, weeks or months before determining the cause of the fire.
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