TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WATE) — A store that has served the Townsend community for more than 80 years was destroyed in a fire late Wednesday.

Firefighters responded to a call at the Townsend Shopping Center around 10:45 p.m. With the assistance of the Maryville Fire Department and Blount County Fire Department, the fire was extinguished around 4 a.m. Thursday.

No one was injured in the blaze. The structure is considered a total loss.

Owner Jerry Sullivan has run the store for almost five decades. He is the third generation in his family to run the Shopping Center after it was started by his grandfather in 1937. The building where the store is currently located was built in 1942.

In addition to selling groceries and household items, the Townsend Shopping Center was well-known for selling rare Case knives.

That was Sullivan’s favorite part of the store. He’d been selling them for decades.

“Case Knife Company sent me a catalog,” Sullivan said. “It was an order form, so I ordered six knives. Six months later, UPS pulled up with those six knives.”

He was able to collect rare sets over the years. Sullivan said he is one of only 24 master Case Knife dealers in the country.

Some of the sets would be worth thousands of dollars.

“But, I wouldn’t sell them,” Sullivan said about a few prized knives.

Of course, he’s not sure which ones survived the fire.

“One of the worst things is, there was a set of knives in there that I was offered $8,000 for last week. And now it’s burnt up,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan met a lot of visitors. But, the knives he sold would bring in customers from all over the Southeast.

“I got a lot of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana,” Sullivan said. “Just never did have a whole lot from west of the Mississippi.”

He would mail knives to states like Maine or Florida.

Sullivan said he was able to salvage several hundred of the knives from the fire. He’s not sure what’s next, though. Depending on what he receives from the insurance company, he might build or buy a small store solely to sell knives.

But, he said he’s 75 years old, so retirement is another possibility.