One week later, Statesville continues recovery from devastating downtown fire
STATESVILLE, N.C. (WBTV) - It has been one week since a fire swept through several buildings in the heart of downtown Statesville. While no one was hurt, livelihoods were affected as some businesses have closed, while others are trying to find a way back.
The owner of the Vanilla Bean Bakery and Coffee Shop described the last week like this…
“It’s been traumatic. It’s been dramatic,” said Emily Noland. “It’s been a community coming together to help others.”
Last Tuesday while firefighters worked tirelessly to put out the flames, Emily Noland met a need.
“We came and made hot chocolate and coffee and just sat it out here so people could have it, for people who weren’t prepared,” Noland said.
In the days since, many are taking stock of what happened here, and what could have happened.
“It could have been worse, it could have been a lot worse, luckily they was able to handle it,” said Statesville City Councilman Frederick Foster. “A lot of people are grateful for our firefighters and the City is also grateful for the mutual aid that we have with the other departments.”
Firefighters said last week it was the kind of fire they dread with buildings packed so closely together, yet, the fire was contained.
“This is a tragedy to say the least,” said Todd Wooten. “I hope they will rebuild or at the least put another building there.”
Wooten runs Wooten Jewelers, a staple in downtown Statesville for nearly 50 years. It’s directly across the street from the scene of the fire.
For now, shop owners like Wooten are dealing with the closed off streets and reduced parking downtown. A.J.’s Heavenly Discount, while not destroyed like neighboring businesses, is still closed. GG’s gift shop on the corner was destroyed by the fire, but she has found another shop and will be opening at 125 W. Broad.
Merchants say the tragedy has brought many of them together and they hope to maintain those relationships.
“It’s a traumatic way to meet people but it’s nice to see that people cared enough to come out and help each other,” Noland said. “There was such a coming together.”
There is still no word on the cause of the fire. That investigation is continuing.
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