A short in a heating unit on the roof of a convenience store scrambled fire fighters and closed the store temporarily Friday morning.
"A regular customer spotted the flames as he was walking back across the street," Allsups employee Corey Weise said. The store is located at 311 Sudderth at Mescalero Trail.
Weise and Mr. Payroll employee Karen Moore were the only two in the store at just after 9 a.m. when the customer alerted them.
"I don't know who called the fire department," Moore said. "Corey just knocked on my door and said the building is on fire we need to get out."
Ruidoso Fire Department Capt. Mike Morrow said the wires and conduit to the unit were burned.
"PNM is on their way to shut the power off until it can be repaired," Morrow said as firefighter Mike Friberg and Lt. Chris Berryhill examined the roof. Friberg used thermal imaging to look for hot spots.
"The smell of smoke was pretty strong right after the customer told us about the flames," Moore said.
Weise said there was an earlier sign of something wrong in the store, but he did not know what it was.
"The lights were flickering," he said. "They did that for quite a while before the customer told us about the flames."
There was no one available to say how long the store would be closed for repairs and clean up.