Safeway will not rebuild Phoenix location destroyed by fire last month
PHOENIX — Officials with the supermarket chain Safeway announced Thursday that it would not rebuild a Phoenix location that was destroyed in a massive fire last month.
Nancy Keane, a spokeswoman for Safeway, said in an email that officials decided not to rebuild the location near 35th and Northern avenues “after several weeks of thorough discussions and much deliberation.”
Keane did not give a reason why officials declined to rebuild the store.
The location was destroyed on July 11, when a fire broke out in a back room of the store following a night of heavy storms. To make matters worse, the roof caved in as crews started battling the fire.
However, no one was killed or injured in the blaze, as crews were able to clear the store of employees and patrons.
Employees from the location were relocated to other stores across the Phoenix area and “received continuous compensation,” Keane said.
In a statement, Lori Raya, the president of the Southwest division for Safeway and Albertsons, said the decision to not rebuild the store was “extremely difficult.”
“In the days after the fire our team thoroughly evaluated every aspect associated with rebuilding, taking into account that the store had been there for more than 30 years,” Raya said.
Raya added that there were several locations in the area for residents. Those locations included 810 E. Glendale Ave., 3450 W. Bell Road and 12320 N. 83rd Ave.
James Mallory, a nearby resident, told KTAR News 92.3 FM that residents in the area depended on that store and that they need a grocery store in their community.
“We ain’t going to make it, it’s too far,” he said. “You’ve got some people on crutches, some people in wheelchairs. Come on man, give us a break.”
Customers in the area will also receive special promotional offers by mail within the next month.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mark Carlson contributed to this report.