Police are appealing to the public for help determining who set a fire that demolished Seaforth’s lone grocery store over the weekend.

The fire broke out just before 3 a.m. Saturday at a Foodland loading dock, and quickly made its way inside the building.

Firefighters thought they had things under control until the store’s ceiling caught fire, however they were able to prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings.

The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in to help investigate the fire, which required two-thirds of the municipality’s water tower to extinguish.

Officials quickly turned their attention to the possibility that the fire, which caused an estimated $2 million in damage, was deliberately set.

“We feel it’s suspicious in nature,” Huron East fire chief Marty Debard told CTV.

Huron East residents say the effects of the fire will be felt for some time, especially by the 50 people who worked at the store.

While access to food was also quickly deemed a concern, as the nearest stores are roughly 20 kilometres away in Clinton and Mitchell, township officials moved quickly to set up a replacement for the burned store.

“We don’t want people to have to go into a variety store for the next year to buy groceries,” said Perth East Mayor Bernie MacLellan.

The community’s arena or agri-plex have been offered to Foodland as a temporary location.

The owner of the grocery store says he plans to rebuild.