Fire Destroys Sylva Building

Updated: Monday, August 18 2014, 07:49 AM EDT
Fire Destroys Sylva Building story image
Sylva Police say the fire that destroyed a downtown building was sparked by an electrical issue. The blaze broke out inside the former Trevalino's Restaurant on Main Street early Saturday morning. Firefighters were able to contain the flames to that business, but several other stores were damaged by smoke and water.

The damage was so significant, Jackson County inspectors have condemned several buildings on the block. Main Street is back open to vehicle and foot traffic, but the block closest to the fire will remain closed until it is deemed safe.

A fire destroyed the old Hooper's Cafe building in downtown Sylva on Saturday morning.

Fire Chief Michael Beck says the fire started around 6 a.m. in the kitchen of the vacant restaurant. Beck says the space was last occupied by Trevalino's Restaurant but the restaurant had closed several weeks ago.

Dozens of firefighters from all over the mountains came to help fight the fire. "We had a drill back in the spring that basically involved the same type of situation," said Beck. "It was a big help."

Smoke and water damaged nearby businesses. "I got a call from one of my employees saying you probably want to come down here," said Jeff Moss. Moss owns Backstreet Airsoft which is located directly next to the burned building. Moss says the fire didn't reach his store but it might as well have.

"An 80 to 100% loss. Not much of what is inside will be salvageable. You can't really sell smoke damaged apparel," Moss said. "Everything is going to rust up and then it is no good to a customer."

The SBI and the Arson Task Force are investigating the fire. Fire Destroys Sylva Building
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