Heavy smoke made it hard for firefighters to navigate through the store's back room inventory to get to the flames.
Fire destroyed the back room of the Hornell Salvation Army.
City of Hornell fire chief, Dan Smith, says the fire started near the left rear corner of the store.
HORNELL, N.Y. (WENY) -- The Hornell Fire Department, along with several other local departments, arrived on the scene around nine o'clock Tuesday night for a fire at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.
"Upon arrival the first crews found heavy smoke conditions and they started to attack it from the front," said city of Hornell fire chief, Dan Smith. "But before they breached the door they did a three-sixty size up and they found that the heavier conditions were in the rear."
Firefighters determined where the smoke was coming from and immediately went to work.
Once they forced open the back door, firefighters were met with very heavy smoke.
"They couldn't see, but they had a thermal imager and that showed the fire to be above their heads over in the rear stock area," said Smith.
On top of battling visibility, firefighters also had to navigate through all the store's back room inventory to get to the flames.
Another department cut a hole in the roof to let smoke out.
Within twenty to thirty minutes, the crews had the fire under control.
There's no word yet on what caused the fire, but according to the Hornell Fire Chief, a total team effort helped limit the damage.
"It's a lot of charring and smoke and water damage." said Smith. "The front showroom area received just received pretty much smoke. We were able to, with the help of the hole in the roof and the quick attack on it, we were able to keep it from extending to the front of the building."
Store officials hope to be able to re-open by Friday, but they're still unclear as to when that'll be able to happen.