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   These are the stories we are working on for this week's newspaper:
  • Quick fix: A plumbing problem is forcing the Plumas Unified School District to move its headquarters to the former probation building.
  • Lesser charges: A former Chester Public Utility District general manager pleaded guilty to reduced charges last month in connection with unauthorized use of a district credit card at a Reno strip club.

Businesses reopen in wake of fire

The view from above shows just how close the devastation from the Dec. 15 fire came to the adjacent building.
Debra Moore
Staff Writer


Within days of the fire that leveled a half-block of downtown Quincy, two businesses reopened for their customers.

The Knook, a popular eatery, opened for lunch Wednesday, Dec. 18, just three days after the Dec. 15 fire that began in the Pizza Factory and also destroyed Quincy Thrift, High Sierra Vapor and the former Great Northern building.

The Drunk Brush opened Dec. 19 after a couple of days devoted to cleaning up the site. The wine bar suffered some smoke and water damage.

Jenelli’s Bakery, Main Street Artists and the Quincy Courtyard Suites were more heavily damaged and still are in the cleanup process.

For the businesses that burned, the community has stepped forward to help out.

The California Highway Patrol has set up a drop-off area to collect items for Quincy Thrift. Call 283-1100 for more information.

Quincy Thrift owner Traci Turner said she is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. Her business will reopen as soon as possible in the former La Casa Bella site on Main Street, opposite the post office.

Quincy Natural Foods is collecting donations for the businesses. Members of the public can put their contributions into envelopes earmarked for the following: Quincy Thrift, Jenelli’s, High Sierra Vapor, Cornerstone Learning and Pizza Factory.

Additionally, both Plumas Bank and Bank of America are accepting checks for all affected businesses and ensuring that they are forwarded.


Clearing the site

Meanwhile, the site has been fenced off and secured by Modern Building, of Chico, the firm that will clear the debris once testing has been completed.

Craig Johnson, who is coordinating the work for Modern Building, said that another company, Hanover Environmental, would test the dry materials for asbestos and metals, as well as test the water that collected in the basement during the fire suppression effort.

Testing was expected to be completed before Christmas, and test results should be available in a couple of weeks.

When the test results arrive, Johnson will coordinate a meeting with public works, the water district, the office of emergency services, the insurance companies and the property owners to chart a cleanup plan.

Johnson said that it would take a minimum of two weeks for the site to be cleared of all debris, and rain or snow would complicate the effort and could prolong the timeline.

Once the site is cleared, the property owners can proceed with plans to rebuild.

Tommy and Carol Miles own the Great Northern building, which was to be home to the Cornerstone Learning Center, and brothers Sonny and Mo Khalid own the adjacent property, which housed Pizza Factory, High Sierra Vapor and Quincy Thrift. Both Miles and the Khalid brothers plan to rebuild.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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