Nov. 2, 2004 Little has been learned about a blaze that erupted in a downtown store Tuesday morning, though the fire was contained quickly by St. Thomas firemen.
The ceiling of the Guttets Gade convenience store, First Stop Convenience Center and Liquor, was badly damaged, but much of the store's inventory remained unburned. The owner, a man who identified himself only as Salem, said he arrived at 8 a.m. to open his store and found firefighters already at work.
The floor was covered in a thick layer of water and soot, and the stench of charred wood drifted out from a ruin of T-shirts, snacks and broken bottles. Much of the ceiling was gone, exposing burned rafters, but the bulk of the destruction seems to have come from smoke and the water used to extinguish the flames.
Remarkably, right next door, beyond a wall shared by both stores, the Boutique de Unique was open for business by mid-morning.
Fire Service spokespersons did not return multiple phone calls, and Salem was not available for further comment. According to radio reports the fire is under investigation for possible arson.
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