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Businesses regroup after fire

Post Independent/ Kara K. PearsonThe sign outside of the Grand Avenue Mall lists some of the businesses affected by Sunday's fire.
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For the first time in 27 years, Gallagher’s Optical has not been open during a regular business day.The store is just one of several that will likely remained closed for the next two months after a fire in the Grand Avenue Mall broke out last Sunday.The fire started in the second story of the building at 812 Grand Ave, around 11 a.m. According to the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, the cause of the fire was an electrical short in a copy machine on the second story level of the building.

“That’s what it looks like,” Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Michael Piper affirmed on Thursday afternoon. The damage amount right now looks to be about $500,000, including clean-up, according to Piper.”But it’s still being debated by the insurance companies,” Piper said. “There’s a lot of clean-up effort that needs to be done in there and the insurance companies need to do an accurate assessment.”Gallagher said he does not know whether the building owner’s insurance company or his own will pay for the damage to his store.

“My shop has a lot of smoke damage,” Gallagher said. “Others have smoke and water damage. There are several insurance companies involved and whether (the owner’s insurance company) is going to pay or mine, I don’t know.”There are three levels to the building – the basement, main level and second story.Other office and retail stores in the Grand Avenue Mall include Spagnolo’s Italian Restaurant, Dragon’s Lair, Teddy’s Corner, Mountain Ink & Apparel, Lundin & Lundin CPAS, Inc., Steve Lundin Construction and the law office of Peter A. Rachesky.Fortunately, it was Rachesky’s paralegal, Esperanza Luna, of Rifle, who was working in the office on Sunday, who discovered the fire and reported it.



“Luckily she was there, or we would have lost the whole building,” Gallagher said.Still, Gallagher said he is losing a lot of money while his business is closed. “Big time,” Gallagher summed up.Monday was the first day that wasn’t a weekend or holiday that Gallagher has not been open for business. The longtime Glenwood business first opened in 1979 and was located at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue for years before it relocated in the Grand Avenue Mall.


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