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FARMINGTON — The only convenience store in Naschitti is a total loss after a fire engulfed the structure on Aug. 19.

Firefighters from the Navajo Nation, the San Juan County Fire Department and the McKinley County Fire Department responded to the fire at the store, which is located west of U.S. Highway 491 in the community.

McKinley County Fire Department Deputy Chief Rich Austin said four firefighters, one fire engine and a water tender were dispatched to the fire at approximately 1:45 a.m.

Austin said when personnel arrived to the scene, the building was fully engulfed in flames and its roof had collapsed.

No injuries were reported and the cause remains under investigation by tribe's fire department, Austin said.

Navajo Nation Fire Chief Larry Chee was unavailable for comment on Aug. 19 because he was still at the fire station in Newcomb, according to his office.

No one answered repeated calls to the fire station.

The Naschitti store sold food, supplies and gasoline in addition to providing a location for residents to pick up mail.

Rod Spurgeon, communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service's Phoenix District, said the store had boxes set up for mail but it was not an official post office.

The district is aware of the situation and customers can go to the post office in Tohatchi to pick up mail while a long-term solution is developed, Spurgeon said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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