Odessa Business Owners Try to Salvage What's Left After Major Strip Mall Fire
By Jen Kastner
ODESSA - A group of business owners in Odessa spent Friday rummaging through what's left of their merchandise after a fire blew through a strip mall Thursday night.
The incident happened at 3615 North Dixie. No injuries were reported. In a press release issued by the City of Odessa, the fire appears to have originated at Shantiques Collectables, which sustained heavy smoke, fire and heat damage.
Shantiques has been a family owned and operated business for the past seven years. Now, not much is left of it.
"From looking [inside], very little of it is going to be salvageable," Sarah Blea, whose family owns the business, said.
She believes the fire started in the attic.
A neighboring shop, The Trophy Den, also sustained severe smoke damage. The walls are covered with ash and water. Shop owner Gary Moore is still in disbelief.
"I've had a lot of things happen lately and it just seems like when it rains, it pours," Moore said.
Moore tells NewsWest 9, he's three weeks away from his 'busy season'. Right now, he's not sure how to move forward. On Friday, Moore and his brother went looking for new spaces to lease, but the cost of living in the Basin is also driving up the cost of commercial spaces.
Moore says most of what they've seen is about four times more expensive.
Neighboring his shop is the is Word of the Lamb Ministries. Pastor Mike Perdue was at the scene until midnight, praying for the firefighters.
"Oh it was totally engulfed. You could not see anything. I [felt] a little bit of shock and disbelief and then it turned to worry and grief and this morning it's gratitude, I think," Perdue said.
His facility only sustained minor smoke damage. Sunday services will go on as planned.
Shantiques' owners are still unsure of what's to happen from here on out. If they decide against rebuilding, what they'll miss most are the Odessans they've learned to call family.
"We had a lot of good customers. There were a lot of good people who'd come through those doors and become a part of our lives," Blea said.
11320 West County Road 127
Midland, Texas, 79711