Striker's Premium Winery in Athens was damaged from a fire Monday night

11:36 PM, Feb 21, 2012   |    comments
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"Striker's Premium Winery" was severely damaged from a fire Monday night.

The state Bomb and Arson Squad has been called in to investigate a fire Monday night at a McMinn County winery.

Athens Rural Fire Department said a fire broke out in the attic at Striker's Premium Winery around 7:00 p.m. Monday. So far, they have not determined a cause to the blaze, and have since called on the state for help.

"Anytime you're talking about a winery, you're talking about alcohol involved, ethanol," said fire chief Harold Eaton. "So there are a lot of dangers in there. Fortunately, our firefighters got it knocked down pretty fast and did a great job."

The winery's owner, Stanley Striker told 10News his building was not insured. He said he doesn't know if or when the building will reopen.

However, this is not the first time the winery has been in the news.

Striker's Premium Winery was the scene of a murder almost twelve years ago. Patty Striker, Stanley Striker's former wife, was shot and killed inside the winery in April 2000.
    
At last check, nearly 100 people were investigated, but to no avail. The case has since went cold.

"To me she was an angel, there's no describing her....she was just perfect," Patti Striker's father, Hugh Thomas, told 10News in an April 2003 interview.

Sheriff's investigators did not return our calls, so there's no word on any connection between the 2000 murder and Monday night's fire.

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