February 27, 2024
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By Babette Stolk

Three businesses that were affected by fires in July also sustained damage from the floods.

Owners of Montpelier businesses that were damaged in two separate fires said it would be a lengthy process to reopen.

The Mad Taco on Main Street and Charlie-O’s in the same block did not seem to change much this week, since an accident fire destroyed the two businesses. According to Robert Sponable of Vermont Division of Fire Safety’s deputy director, it was an accidental fire caused by the spontaneous combustion of cleaning cloths. The businesses were left empty and taped off.

Sponable reported that the investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire on Nov. 1, which destroyed the nearby rk MILES Lumberyard. The rk MILES Showroom was spared serious damage by the fire that destroyed the storage area for lumber on Stone Cutters Way. The surrounding buildings were spared as well.

According to Lieutenant Chad Morris, the fire destroyed a fire engine, which forced the Montpelier Fire Department’s reserve vehicle to be used as its primary engine in the near future.

Joe Miles of rk MILES attended this inspection and said that the site had been cleared to begin cleanup earlier in the week.

Miles wants to open again, but he’s not sure when.

He said, “It is nice that our kind of business exists in the area.” “I’m 99 percent certain we’ll reopen.”

Floods in July caused damage to the three businesses that were affected by fires. Flood damage forced the Mad Taco to close for over three months.

Wes Hamilton said that the 72 Main St. restaurant had been in business for about a week or even more.

The owners hope to reopen their restaurant in the near future, but it is unlikely.

The ceiling tiles have melted. Hamilton stated, “It’s a complete loss.

Morris says that the structure of the building is salvageable. The damage to Charlie O’s in the nearby area, which has been a downtown landmark since the 1970s, stems primarily from smoke and water, and some roof damage.

Charlie-O’s announced on Facebook and Instagram that they will be “back as soon as possible.” But, as with The Mad Taco, and rk MILES a timeline is still unclear. This could be due to winter weather conditions which may hinder construction.

Hamilton stated that they hoped to be open in the spring. Montpelier is a wonderful place. This is a lively community. “It’s an eclectic downtown.”

How many times are businesses willing to rebuild if the flood threat continues?

Hamilton stated that if there is another flood in Montpelier next year “we will definitely think long and hard before coming back.”

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