Seven years ago today the Jeparit community suffered the loss of two local businesses when the building housing the Jeparit Newsagency and Hardware shop and the adjoining cafe - the Janga Tuckerbag - was lost to fire.

The owners of the cafe were left homeless as a result of damage throughout the building.

The services offered by the shops in this building have since returned to the community, with the Jeparit Supermarket now also trading as a cafe and selling newspapers.

Neighbouring Menzies Square was later expanded onto the site after the building was demolished.

This is how we reported on the fire at the time.
Firefighters from five brigades attended a fire at the Jeparit Newsagency last night.

Volunteers from Jeparit, Rainbow, Depta, Tarranyurk and Werrap were alerted to the blaze at 9.13pm, bringing the blaze under control within an hour.

"I am really pleased with the good support given by these brigades volunteers," Jeparit Rural Fire Brigade Captain Paul Schulze said.

"We were able to prevent any damage being caused to the neighbouring milk bar, which shared the roof space. Although, the newsagency has sustained extensive damage," Captain Schulze said.

The milk bar sustained a small amount of fire damage, but most of the damage caused was by smoke and water.

"Its unknown at this stage what caused it, we will know more when we can get in and have a look."

Fire investigators attended the scene thismorning, and found the cause to be in faulty wiring at the front of the shop.

"An electrical fault has sparked the blaze in the shop," Country Fire Authority Fire Investigator John Davies said.

"Most of the damage to the shop and its contents was sustained from radiant heat and smoke.

"The new owners have taken over recently, moving from running their business in Natimuk, and were working on extending the variety of merchandise in the shop."

Originally published Friday, May 25 2012, written by Bronwyn Hastings.
Photo courtesy of Jodi Hutson.