Fire Destroys Base Exchange At Eglin Ranger Camp

A fire destroyed a wooden building housing a Base Exchange convenience store, barber shop and lounge Tuesday at an Army Ranger training camp on Eglin Air Force Base.

The cause of the fire at Camp James E. Rudder was not immediately known and an investigation was continuing. The camp is in a remote, wooded area of the base, which sprawls across 724 square miles in three counties.

It took more than two hours to extinguish the blaze that broke out about 7 a.m. The camp's seven firefighters were joined by others from Eglin's main base, about 30 miles away. Civilian fire departments from Ocean City and Fort Walton Beach also responded. No one was hurt.

More than 200 troops are stationed at the camp, where Rangers are trained in water and swamp environments. An Army Air Force Exchange Service field trailer was expected to arrive Wednesday to serve the camp.

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