A High's Dairy Store on property that has been the center of a year-long struggle between Chevy Chase Village and a savings and loan, was destroyed by fire yesterday morning.
The two-alarm blaze was reported about 5:30 a.m. and brought under control 1 1/2 hours later. One fireman was treated for heat exhaustion. Fire marshals spent the day examining the ruins of the store at 6509 Brookville Rd. but had not determined the cause of the fire last night.
Chevy Chase Village, the self-governing community that surrounds the store, has been negotiating to purchase the one-third acre site from Loyola Federal Savings and Loan, which brought it 1 1/1 years ago to build a branch office. The village opposed the new branch and wants to clear the land for a park instead.High's lease expired in February, but the store continued in operation.
Richard S. T. March, chairman of the village's board of managers, said last night the fire "changes things completely. The fair market value of the property has dropped."
The village has offered $240,000 for the property, $5,000 more than Loyola paid for it, according to Loyola attorney Devin J. Doolan, who said the S & L has been seeking more.
Marsh said last night he will be talking to the other members of the village board of managers and "we have to regroup and consider making a new determination of value and making a new offer."