Fire Destroys Cottonwood Dollar General Store

By: Erika Kurre Email
By: Erika Kurre Email

The Dollar General Store that completely burned Tuesday night in Cottonwood was still smoldering Wednesday afternoon. Residents are wondering when the store will rebuild or open again for business.

There is no other store like the Dollar General for at least 10 miles outside of Cottonwood.

Those in neighboring communities are still shocked that the main shopping center is destroyed.

Florida Resident Coley Hearns said, "Well, I wasn't expecting it. I sure didn't. I stopped and I saw the damage and I said, ‘well, it's true what my wife said’."

For years, the Dollar General Store has been Coley's main meeting place between his home and Dothan.

It’s also the only place where most residents can one-stop-shop for everyday items.

Cottonwood Resident James Lewis says, "People around are already missing it. They were talking about it last night and all the other Dollar Stores around don't compare with this one."

The only other store in Cottonwood that compares to the Dollar General is the IGA, but it's a grocery store and doesn't carry clothing or other household items

Chief Jim Smith with the Cottonwood Police Department said, "I don't think people realize that being a small town, this is a catastrophic blow in terms of ability. People have to drive to Ashford or Greenwood or Dothan to shop and that's inconvenient."

However, the loss is not only affecting shoppers. With tens of thousands of merchandise lost and shoppers going elsewhere, it's also going to make an impact on the town's sales tax revenues.

The Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office is partnering with the Houston County Sheriff's Arson investigators. They say the crime scene looks suspicious, but won't be able to release details of the investigation for another couple of weeks.


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  • by Lois Deane S. Barker Location: Dunlap, Tennessee 37327 on Apr 25, 2007 at 11:31 PM
    I can't seem to be able to find the website of The Home Off ice of Dollar General Stores and really need to get this message to them. Please see that they receive it. About a year and a half ago, I participated in a survey relative to Ddollar General Store. even though I was told the complete survey would take no more than 5 - 7 minutes, It dragged on for more than 28 minutes, proving to be most exasperating. The young man asking the questions could BARELY SPEAK ENGLISH AT ALL! AND TO MAKE THINGS EVEN WORSE, HE ALSO COULD BARELY UNDERSTAND SPOKEN ENGLISH. Nevertheless, I had said I'd participate in the survey and decided to see it through to the end. AND, AFTER ALL, I HAD BEEN PROMISED REMUNERATION! When the whole ordeal was finally over, I was once more reassured I would receive remuneration. I NEVER RECEIVED ANYTHING AT ALL. SO, DOLLAR GENERAL, I DON'T KNOW WITH WHOM YOU CONTRACTED TO COLLECT THE DATA YOU WANTED, AND I'M CONFIDENT I WAS NOT THE ONLY PERSON RIPPED OFF, BUT JUST KNOW THIS, NOT OLY HAD MY FAMILY STOPPED SHOPPING AT YOUR STORES, SO HAVE MANY OF MY FRIENDS. YOU HAVE LOST MUCH MORE IN REVENUE THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE AMOUNT OF THE REMUNERATION.
  • by Billy Location: Dothan on Apr 18, 2007 at 09:36 PM
    I wanted to thank all of the members of the Cottonwood Police and Fire departments, as well as the Houston County Sheriff's department and all of the other fire departments that assisted with the Dollar General fire last week. It is our company's practice that we don't discuss issues like this publicly, but a sincere thank you to the efforts that were put in to try to save our store. We hope to put this issue behind us soon and return our Dollar General to the wonderful people of Cottonwood and the surrounding area very soon. Thank you
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