Business owners affected by fire in downtown Statesville appreciate community support, look forward

GG’s owner already has new shop she hopes to open soon
A day after a major fire ravaged several downtown Statesville buildings, businesses are deciding what to do next.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 3:50 PM EDT
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IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The smoke has new cleared from the catastrophic fire that swept through several buildings in downtown Statesville on Tuesday. At least three businesses were heavily damaged. Today, those associated with those businesses are trying to decide what to do next, and they’re grateful for what they say has been overwhelming support from the community.

Late Wednesday afternoon firefighters were back in front of the building that used to be home GG’s gift shop. They were looking down from above as they continued their investigation. At ground level many people were coming by just to see it.

“Hardship, disaster, why? It’s heartbreaking. It really is,” one woman said.

GG’s owner Gloria Hager was back at the coffee shop across the street today, still getting support from the community.

“People hugging me and crying because they love the store and so much in this community,” Hager said. “Everyone was hugging, some were crying, some were just so sad, but I’m telling you it was just a beautiful experience if you can say a fire, this catastrophe, was uplifting, it was just a blessed day yesterday.”

Yesterday Hager wasn’t sure what her next step would be, but today she says she’s found a new place to rent just a few doors down at 125 W. Broad St.

“Unless something goes awry we will set up there and start getting merchandise,” Hager said. “I’ve already found a building to rent for at least a year because the building that we’re in is going to take a while to get it back.”

“We immediately started getting phone calls and text messages, messages on Facebook expressing support,” said Caity Gordon, president of Theatre Statesville.

Firefighters said the fire started in the Theatre Statesville Building and the damage is devastating. A supporter started a GoFundMe page here, and there have other offers of help. All appreciated, Gordon says.

“Certainly donations do help,” Gordon said. “We don’t know how we’re going to produce any revenue in the next couple of months. That’s going to be a problem and replacing the things that we lost though we did have insurance coverage there are some things we still have to take care of.”

Officials with the City of Statesville said on Wednesday that the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing. No cause has yet been determined.

The Statesville Fire Department ran checks at the buildings throughout last night and through 8am this morning, the city said in a press release Around 3 p.m., they checked for hot spots using thermal imagining and found none.

There are no updates regarding the cause of the fire or where the fire began. The Fire Marshal’s Office will be working alongside insurance investigators for the next couple of days. The fire is still under investigation and an update will be released once complete.

City Staff will be securing the area with temporary barriers. Staff is requesting that the public not enter the area that is marked with fire tape and barriers for any reason.