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El Rey grocery store to reopen Friday after fire

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Neighborhood grocery store El Rey has been closed for two weeks following a fire, but owners told FOX6 News they hope to reopen on Friday, January 18th. On Tuesday, staff was back at the store, restocking and getting ready to open after the devastating fire.

The fire broke out around 11:00 p.m. on January 3rd at the El Rey store on 51st and Oklahoma. The fire spread to the roof and portions of the roofing material that comes into the inside of the building, causing substantial smoke damage.

The Milwaukee Health Department ordered the store to get rid of everything except glass bottles, hard plastic bottles or canned goods -- meaning a whole lot of product had to be tossed -- about $270,000 worth!

The running total for damage and renovations thus far is about $700,000. 

After a lot of cleaning, employees were allowed back inside on Tuesday to restock shelves and make sure they're ready for customers on Friday.

Police took two 17-year-old suspects into custody the day after the fire. Police say video surveillance caught the teens outside the store just before the fire started.

No charges have yet been filed.

The restaurant inside the store sustained a lot of damage from the fire and won't be open on Friday -- though the store will be open beginning at 7:00 a.m.

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