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Gay Street Fire Damages Three Retail Businesses

Walker Evans Walker Evans Gay Street Fire Damages Three Retail BusinessesPhotos via Sugardaddy's.
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Originally posted on April 15 at 11:10pm. Updated on April 16 at 8:25am with more details.

A fire broke out in the basement of the building located on the southeast corner of Gay and High Streets earlier this evening. Columbus firefighters were able to contain the fire, but not before it had spread into the ground floor of the building, damaging all three retail storefronts: Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties, Robert Mason Co, and Sprint Preferred Wireless.

A message from the Sugardaddy’s Facebook page reported that the store has been completely destroyed from smoke, soot, fire and water damage. Firefighters had to break up flooring in the business during the process. Four firefighters were injured when a ladder fell, but were reported to be recovering.

“Our Polaris location and online store will be operating as normal,” said Lisa Anglim, CEO of Sugardaddy’s. “We will offer delivery to Downtown customers. We appreciate all the support and good will.”

The Robert Mason pop-up shop located inside Sugardaddy’s will be closed indefinitely.

“Due to the nature of our product, and the conditions post-fire, our Columbus store is a total loss,” explained Robert Grimmet, Founder of Robert Mason. “Our online store will continue to operate with abbreviated capacity, as our shipping facility in the basement of 11 E. Gay Street has been destroyed. Products that were unique to only our Columbus store and all product designed by Robert Mason will not be available until further notice.”

He added that a temporary office will be open soon to handle current customers orders, and that inquiries on any open order can be made via email at [email protected].

The Sprint Preferred Wireless is also closed due to smoke damage, and has 20 other regional and state-wide locations that will continue to operate normally.

As for the four-story building itself, the fire damage wasn’t extensive enough to call for demolition. A restoration and renovation is expected.

“We will be restoring the building and eventually convert the upper third and fourth floors to residential studio lofts, while remodeling the second floor into offices,” said managing investment realtor and developer Tom Fortin. “We plan to fully repair both retail suites.”

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