GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Fire crews in Great Bend and several other surrounding departments were busy on Wednesday battling a blaze at a building that housed several businesses. It happened inside the Zarah Mall located in the 1200 block of North Main Street around 2:30 p.m.

The Great Bend Fire Department said crews found smoke coming from the rear of the building. Initial crews made access to the basement and the first floor of the building and encountered heavy smoke, heat, and fire. Crews made an aggressive fire attack and were able to keep the fire contained to an area in the basement and first floor with smoke damage throughout parts of the building. 

The Great Bend Chamber of Commerce said multiple businesses will be closed for the time being. The Chamber said it will be working with the businesses inside to support them.

“I’ve already had a huge group of people that have reached out to us, just checking up on us, asking what we can do, the chamber reaching out to us, so we’re lucky because we have the small town things like that, people checking up on us,” said Tonya and Trevor Olsen, Mr. Olsen’s Natural Solutions.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office will be on scene to assist investigators from the Great Bend Fire Department to determine the cause of the fire.

During the fire, a section of Main Street or U.S. 281 was closed.