Clovis Walmart sustains 'significant' damage in fire
Police: Employees accounted for, no injuries reported
Last updated 9/4/2023 at 12:36pm
Fire broke out at Clovis' Walmart early Sunday morning, significantly damaging the building. Officials said it began about 3:30 a.m., but no cause was immediately known.
Firefighters from throughout the region were on scene. The fire appeared to be out by mid-morning but burned more than three hours.
Police said all Walmart employees had been accounted for and no injuries had been reported.
"I'm told the building has suffered significant loss including roof collapse," Clovis Mayor Mike Morris said.
Clovis Police Department asked area residents "stay away from the area, as this is an active scene."
"There is no good reason to drive by to 'see' what is happening," CPD reported on its Facebook page.
"If this is your primary store for groceries, make other plans. The store WILL NOT be re-opening today.
Officials on the scene said the fire appeared to have started on the south side of the building but declined to provide additional information.
Bryan Mizelle, who lives close to Walmart off Llano Estacado, said he heard sirens early Sunday morning and could hear what sounded like rain hitting sheet metal.
When he went outside, he said he could see flames.
Jennifer Mizelle, Bryan's wife, said she took her sons to Planet Fitness just west of Prince Street, and from there they could see the fire at Walmart and could hear multiple "pops" from the scene.
A Melrose Fire Department vehicle drove past, she said.
Jennifer Mizelle said a Walmart employee she knows told her she was in the store when the fire started in Walmart's automotive section on the store's south side. The employee told Jennifer all employees evacuated safely.
Video on social media shows what appear to be Walmart employees standing in the parking lot watching large flames coming out the roof's building.
Clovis police late Sunday morning issued a news release reporting emergency workers were called to the scene at 3:36 a.m.
"On arrival, Officers and Fire Personnel reported the building was ablaze," the release stated.
"Due to the size of the building and the aggressive nature of the fire, additional fire units from surrounding agencies were requested to assist the Clovis Fire Department. Fire services from Cannon Air Force Base, Melrose, Ranchvale, Pleasant Hill, Texico, Portales, Grady, (New Mexico) along with Farwell and Bovina (Texas) responded to assist."
Police said the store will be closed while officials investigate the cause of the fire. "Access to the Walmart parking lot will be limited to Fire, Police, and designated personnel. Please make plans accordingly, the business may be shut down for a longer period," the release stated.
Also from the news release:
"If you have prescription medications that typically are served through the Walmart pharmacy, Walmart has been and will be attempting to contact you via text and email to guide you to the Portales Walmart. Online orders and pickup for the Clovis Walmart will be redirected to the Portales Walmart. Any other questions for Walmart may be fielded by contacting them at 1-800-WALMART."
The state fire marshal has been contacted to help with the investigation, Clovis Police Capt. Roman Romero stated in the release.
David Stevens of The News contributed to this report.