By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“This is a great place,” Barrick said. “We weren’t looking to move, but I think this is going to work out just fine.
“And the building’s got a great fire alarm.”
Barrick’s shop, which reopened last week, has been closed since May 19, when a fire all but destroyed the building that housed it and Baja Cantina Mexican restaurant at 820 W. Washington St.
With items he’s picked up over the summer and some he had previously held in storage, Barrick moved across the street to the long-vacant Hollywood Video store at 755 W. Washington St.
“The reception we’ve been getting since we opened here has been just incredible,” said Candy Diesen, Barrick’s partner and owner of the burned building.
“People are coming in all the time with hugs, telling us how happy they are to have us back.
“I love small-town living.”
Baja Cantina, she said, still has not found a new location where the restaurant could relocate.
Diesen said her insurance company is still reviewing what it will do following the fire, presently leaving the building charred and fenced off like it was the day after the fire.
“It’s moving much slower than any of us would have liked,” Diesen said.
The fire started when a wire in the attic malfunctioned and threw off sparks, insurance investigators concluded in the days after the blaze.
Firefighters from Clallam County Fire Districts Nos. 2 and 3 and the city of Port Angeles spent five hours battling the blaze, shutting off traffic on the city’s main thoroughfare during that time.
There were no serious injuries.
Diesen bought the building, valued at $590,165 by the county assessor, in 2004 and said she had spent much of the past 10 years renovating it.
She hopes to rebuild, provided the still-standing exterior walls are reusable.
City laws allow burned buildings to be rebuilt on the same site, provided they stay within the same footprint.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at email@example.com.