On Friday, April 17, 1941, at 12:30 a.m. fire struck the Armitage Super Market at the corner of North Warren Avenue and North Second Street. Discovered by the Armitage family who lived in the house adjoining the store, a night watchman and a passerby, at about the same time, turned in the alarm and the Apollo Hose Companies No. 2 and No. 3 responded.
The fire originated near the meat cooler where the motors were housed. It was assumed that the motors stalled and the insulation burned out starting the conflagration.
The leaping flames spread to the adjoining house, damaging much of the contents. The Armitage family escaped injury. The flames spread to the next building, the Famous Store, where the rear corner of the building was badly damaged and stocks ruined from the smoke and water. The apartment above the store was also heavily damaged.
The center of the Armitage Store was completely ruined with nothing but charred framework remaining. The merchandise was damaged by smoke and water. Mr. Armitage reported that only a portion of the building was insured.