The forced closure of the New Life Mission thrift store due to a fire has cost the non-profit $1,000 to $1,500 a day, the mission’s operations manager said Friday.
Fortunately, restoration of the building is well underway and the hope is the store will be open in about two weeks,” said Terry Butcher.
“Because of the situation we’re in already, it’s vital income that we don’t have,” Butcher said of the mission’s debt.
“It’s created quite a squeeze for us.”
The Sept. 23 blaze destroyed the loading area in the back of the Seymour Street store and caused smoke damage to much of the rest of the building.
Some of the stock was sold off, but a lot was discarded because of smoke damage. Butcher said the back wall of the store, which contained the electrical panels, was saturated with water.
“The electrical panels were soaked for quite a while. They couldn’t even turn the fans on,” he said. “When they did, they discovered there was some asbestos in the wall.”
With the asbestos and electrical tended to, Thompson Valley Restoration was able to begin work. Store manager Regan Wilson said the carpet was pulled out and the ceiling painted with a special paint for buildings that sustain smoke damage.
“It’s kind of like a big, empty building right now,” he said.
Once renovations are complete, Wilson will be in a position to accept donations so he can restock the store’s shelves. He hopes that can start within a week.
The store needs everything from furniture to toys and clothing, he said. Wilson intends to set up drop-off points around town because the business won’t yet be open.
Wilson said October to Christmas is the thrift store’s busiest time, hence the push to get the operation up and running again.
Even then, Butcher said it will be almost impossible to earn back the lost profits.
“That’s a substantial piece of money we can’t regain,” he said.
For more information on donations, phone 250-372-2273.
The mission’s financial situation prompted the closure of the House of Ruth earlier this month.