A Cambria business still is reeling and recovering from a structure fire that started Dec. 9 in the second story above the store on the 700 block of Main St.
Lissa McConnell, owner of Exotic Nature, told supporters on Facebook Monday, Dec. 14, that work was progressing on the post-fire cleanup phase, with professional crews handling the water and other damage.
“We’re going to stay out of their way until their work is done,” she wrote. “Bringing moisture levels back to normal by removing everything that absorbed water is a lot of work. They're protecting all our products with surreal barriers of floor-to-ceiling plastic and human-size zippers to pass through.”
McConnell added that, “Under the heading of ‘when it rains, it pours,’ our website is down.”
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She had hoped to reopen Friday through New Year’s Eve, but posted late on Tuesday, Dec. 15, that “until repairs are made returning the shop to good order, it would be best and safest to keep the shop closed.”
The store sells women’s clothing, jewelry, soaps, aromatherapy, essential oils and more.
The fire, apparently sparked by hot ashes left in a shed, caused at least $30,000 in damage, according to initial estimates from firefighters who responded to the call about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9. They found a shed and a hot tub on fire on the second-floor deck of the building. Exotic Nature is on the ground floor of the building, and a residence is on the second floor.
According to firefighters, the fire spread from the deck into the ground-floor ceiling and the second-floor exterior wall.
The fire was extinguished, but the hot tub and shed were destroyed. No injuries were reported, and the two commercial structures attached to the building were untouched by the fire.
“I feel so badly for my customers,” McConnell said in an interview Dec. 15.
“This is a time of year when I’d really want to be there for them … We will return, when we can, and until then everyone at Exotic Nature sends warm wishes for a hopeful and very Happy New Year.”
Kaytlyn Leslie contributed to this report.