Few Stores Reopen Tuesday After Fire at Barracks Road Shopping Center

January 8, 2013

One day after an accidental blaze caused significant damage at the Plow & Hearth store at Barracks Road Shopping Center, some nearby businesses impacted by the fire opened back up to customers Tuesday.

Shoppers stopped to take pictures of Plow & Hearth's boarded up storefront, guarded by caution tape, and commented on the scent of smoke still lingering in the air.

But around 10 a.m., another scent was noticeable in the area.

Pizza shop Slice got clearance from the health department Tuesday morning to fire up its oven and serve customers. Owner Chris Herring said having to be closed all of Monday was not ideal, but he's staying positive.

"One day does hurt, but, you know, we just absorb it and move on," Herring said.

Clothing retailer White House Black Market was also able to move on Tuesday. Customers were allowed back inside the store, where the worst of the damage centered near the dressing rooms in the back of the shop.

The Happy Cook, located directly next to Plow & Hearth, was hoping to reopen Tuesday, but will remain closed as crews work to assess the extent of the damage. The retailer is still dealing with poor air quality and water seepage from its shared wall with Plow & Hearth, after firefighters sprayed water on it to battle the blaze. The store will likely have to replace its floor and much of its inventory. Store manager Phil Meeker said he hopes the store will be open in a week.

Workers were inside Loft, but the clothing retailer kept customers out with a 'closed' sign displayed in the store window. Employees were unable to comment on the damage or plans to reopen.

Restaurant Tara Thai remained closed Tuesday. A sign hung on the front door notifying patrons the business is "closed until further notice."

The president of Plow & Hearth said it will most likely be a couple of months until the home and garden retailer opens again.

Nobody was injured in Monday's fire. Fire crews were on scene four minutes after the call came in. Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles L. Werner said electrical wire that was either under or near storage of fatwood, a resin-rich wood kindling that was sold in the store, caused the blaze.

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