Downtown Bend businesses began the clean-up and repair process today, after an apartment fire caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage on Christmas Eve. At least five businesses were affected by smoke and water damage; several will be closed for an undisclosed amount of time.
The smell of smoke hung heavy in the air Thursday morning, 48 hours after a fire swept through a downtown Bend apartment Christmas Eve.
“There’s just soot everywhere,” Dolly Miller told Central Oregon Daily. She got the call Tuesday night that the fire was right next door to the Wall Street Bar and Grill, and credits one of her bartenders with alerting authorities.
“She noticed smoke coming in, her and a couple of our regular customers were thinking it might have been somewhere in this area. They couldn’t find it and it kept getting worse so she called 911. She also called the landlord who lives above us and the landlord is the one that actually went and got out the couple who were living in the space that actually caught fire.”
The cause of the fire remains unknown. Businesses along the Brooks Street alleyway were heavily damaged by smoke and water.
According to Bend Fire, several stores may have lost a significant amount of inventory. The overall content loss sits at $500,000, between the businesses, building and apartment. At least three will be closed for days, including Wall Street Bar and Grill.
“We’ll be shut down for at least three days and that’s kind of hopeful,” says Miller, “Restoration company’s coming in today and we’re going to get moving and take the inventory of the stuff we need to get rid of.”
Every open liquor bottle at Wall Street will need to be thrown away, tables and surfaces thoroughly cleaned because of the amounts of soot that have fallen into the bar.
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Miller is determined to see the silver lining, “Never could close down long enough to paint the bathrooms so guess who’s painting bathrooms? You know what I mean? Even with the damage to the surrounding businesses, the structure is here, all of the people’s lives are here so thank God.”
Restoration updates will be posted as they happen on Wall Street Bar and Grill’s Facebook page. Other affected businesses say they will reopen as soon as they can.