Electronic sign likely to blame for Martinsville convenience store fire

Sparky's caught fire around 9:30 p.m. Sunday

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – A Martinsville convenience store remained closed Monday after a fire.

Firefighters responded to Sparky's on Starling Avenue just after 9:30 p.m. Sunday.

They say flames were coming out of the overhang over the entrance.

They were able to put out the fire.

Damage was minimal, but because power had not been restored to the store Monday the store was closed.

Martinsville Fire Chief Ted Anderson said an electrical problem likely started it.

"The aluminum siding of the building actually was energized, we believe, from the sign (on the front of the store) and (the electricity) was looking for a grounding source. It ultimately ended up in the eave of the building. That, combined with the rain and such, is what caused this fire," Anderson said.

An electrical problem also sparked a fire in 2015 that destroyed the restaurant right next to the store.