Downtown Sylva Fire Investigation

Updated: Monday, August 18 2014, 07:02 PM EDT
Downtown Sylva Fire Investigation story image
Leaders in one mountain town say it's likely an old building destroyed by fire over the weekend, will have to be demolished. It housed a handful of businesses and now owners are wondering what to do.

Business owners are depending on insurance, so they can rebuild.  News 13 is told one out of four didn't have any. They and adjacent businesses affected are meeting with town officials looking for answers and help.

"We have smoke damage, some water damage. But what were most worried about is some structural damage now from maybe heat," says Holly Hooper who runs Blackrock Outdoor Company. It's right next to what used to be Hooper's restaurant and what was about to be another restaurant called Trevalino's. Police say an electrical problem started the fire in the kitchen early Saturday morning.

Town leaders say the historic building housing Trevalino's, Motion Makers Bike Shop, Southern Signs, and Backstreet Airsoft, will likely have to be demolished. "And were going to keep both Main and Mill Street closed until the building is down or somebody rules it not to be a hazard," says Mayor Maurice Moody.

The building owner Joan Sterns says shes grateful the fire walls held and the fire didn't spread to adjacent businesses. But Holly Hooper is watching her store closely. "The front brick facade is starting to bow a little bit, some of the walls have cracked upstairs," she says.

"We'll also have to wait until the Hooper building comes down and the demolition is finished and see how that affects our building as well," she adds. Hooper is grateful she has insurance, but Sterns says the owner of Southern Signs does not.

Town leaders are meeting to address concerns of business owners to help them recover "I think they're going to have to depend on their insurance, from a financial standpoint," says Mayor Moody.

Most affected businesses like Motion Makers have posted pictures of the impact on Facebook, showing the damage to their bicycles.

Hooper says she may have to shift her outdoor merchandise to one side of her business, but is committed to staying downtown.

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Fire Destroys Sylva BuildingDowntown Sylva Fire Investigation
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