WATERVILLE — A fire Tuesday afternoon in the basement of Super Shoes off of Kennedy Memorial Drive destroyed a number of shoes and probably will keep the store closed for a few days.

The fire probably started shortly after 1:30 p.m. at the store at 1 Washington St., according to Waterville Fire Chief David LaFountain. He said the cause had not been determined yet, but it might have come from a light fixture. Since the business was operating at the time of the fire, the state fire marshal’s office was called in to investigate.

“The employees noticed there was smoke and evacuated the store,” he said.

Firefighters were pulling boxes and merchandise out of the basement by 2 p.m. around the time the fire was knocked down as well, LaFountain said. Central Maine Power Co. arrived to turn off power to the building.

Assistant Manager Nicole Witham said she and a few others were working at the time and noticed smoke coming from the back office. She said she initially thought a computer was malfunctioning, but when she went to look, there was “smoke coming up from the basement” and they evacuated the store.

Witham said they grabbed the money from the registers and went outside. She reported seeing only smoke, not fire.

“We got out quick,” she said.

LaFountain said there appeared to be little structural damage to the building from the basement fire, but they wouldn’t know for sure until they investigated further. There had been smoldering boxes of merchandise in the basement and a lot of smoke. Crews from Waterville and Oakland responded to the fire, because Waterville had a limited staff of firefighters at the time of the call.

Yvonne Maddux, a store employee, said only two customers had been inside. She said that before they left, they made sure no one was in the basement, where the boxes were burning. While firefighters had used water to put out the fire, she estimated there was more substantial smoke damage.

Employees assumed the fire was caused by an electrical problem.

“This is an old building,” Maddux said.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis