After fire, café and gallery open, hobby shop closed


News staff writer

October 14, 2006

Customers hovered over the wealth of choices at South Bank Kitchen Thursday at noon.

The restaurant was back to business almost immediately after a fire in a neighboring business a week ago as evident from the lunch rush.

“We served s’mores during First Friday because we always do some giveaway and we felt that was appropriate given the situation,” said owner Lindsay Gott. “It smelled like a campfire in here so we thought, ‘Why not s’mores?’”

She referred to the smoky atmosphere a week ago following a fire downstairs in the neighboring business Hobbies and More.

She said she tried to make the best of the situation given that firefighters had to break in during the early morning hours because of smoke billowing from the building.

“I got here about five minutes after they called me so it must have been 2:30 in the morning,” she said. “I owe the fire department a big thank-you. They were in charge, came up, totally assessed the situation and took care of it. I felt we were in good hands.”

Despite the incident, both Gott and Frame Gallery owner Rupert Webb want to let people know they are still open for business.

“There is still a smoke smell up here but it is business as usual,” said Webb.

Light sparkled through glass artworks hung in the windows as Webb talked about the minimal impact the fire had on his business.

“The gallery is very unaffected and we’re airing our shop out,” Webb said.

He said his workshop space at the Frame Gallery is unusable for now but that hasn’t hurt him either because he has a secondary workshop at home.

Both business owners said they mostly had smoke damage to their businesses. The business downstairs, Hobbies and More, was the most heavily affected. It is closed for an indefinite period although building owner Chuck Beardsley said he was doing all he could to get the remodel work going.

“At this point, we’re still waiting on estimates from contractors but I’m going to do everything I can to get him open again as soon as possible,” Beardsley said.

John Frick is the owner of Hobbies and More. The message on his answering machine for the business said that he while he is not selling retail out of the location for now, he is still picking up and delivering special orders for customers.

“Thank you for your time and bearing with me in the time to come,” he said on the message.

Hood River Fire Chief Jeff Walker and insurance investigators were on the fire scene Monday. Walker said the initial cause of the fire appeared to be electrical, specifically an extension cord.

The Hood River Fire Department called on mutual aid from the fire departments at West Side, Pine Grove, Odell, Parkdale and Cascade Locks due to the three-alarm status of the blaze.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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