KINGMAN - A high wind-buffeted fire destroyed the Byers Northern Avenue Liquors store early Tuesday morning.
Patrick Moore, chief of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District, said heavy dark smoke was already coming from multiple swamp coolers and air conditioning units, and fire was burning the eaves and venting through the roof itself when crews first arrived at the longtime business in the 3000 block of Northern Avenue just after 1:15 a.m.
The intensity of the fire prompted crews to fight defensively and concentrate on protecting other structures in the immediate area to the east and north.
The scheme worked as those structures were protected, but the longstanding building was "completely destroyed," said Moore.
A Mohave County Sheriff's deputy sounded the alarm after responding to the business because its burglar alarm sounded. The business was locked and secure, but the deputy saw smoke and called it in.
The business was closed and no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported, said Moore, whose department's Fire Prevention Division is investigating the cause.
The fire was big enough to trigger the mutual aid agreement in place between Northern Arizona Consolidated and Kingman Fire.
Moore said his department responded with four fire engines, a battalion and fire chief. Kingman responded with one engine, a support vehicle and a battalion chief.
The Mohave County Sheriff's office, River Medical Ambulance and UniSource assisted during the emergency, said Moore.