When the fire last week Wednesday tore through 310 and 312 Watson St., it did more than simply destroy a historic building.
It threatened numerous downtown businesses, with results ranging from a temporary inconvenience to permanent closure.
Least impacted were a series of businesses on Watson Street, that only lost power temporarily as electricity had to be cut during the fire. The outage, however, may have had little impact on many of those businesses since access to their Watson Street storefronts was closed anyway for much of the day while the fire was fought.
Then there’s the Watson Street Sub Shop, which was destroyed when 312 Watson St. burned.
Owner Victor Ocampo has no idea yet whether he will reopen.
“Right now, I am still deciding which way I am going to go,” he said. “I am re-evaluating everything and trying to understand this and move forward with this and see where we go.”
He doesn’t believe anything will be salvageable from the business, though he’s not certain.
“First, we want to find out what we really can get out of there — at least something,” Ocampo said. “We are working with insurance to see what we can do.”
It’s taken a few days for the situation to start feeling like reality.
“It has sunk in, after being able to actually see it,” he said. “The reality has hit that it’s gone and there’s nothing I can do.”
Memory Photography, which occupies 308 Watson St., is still in operation, though it appears that business cannot operate for the short term. The building was not burned, but has smoke and water damage.
“It’s on hold,” owner Steve Hollenback said of his business. “An insurance claim has been filed; I’ve got to see how much smoke is in there.”