The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

Beloved business burns

 

Wolfgang Kurtz | The Seward Phoenix LOG

Business owner Ray Weaver and Seward Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Rob Mathis discuss the situation at the scene of an early Saturday morning blaze. The fire destroyed Weaver’s building housing his thrift store, Ray’s Reusables.

An early morning fire on Saturday burned a building at 310 A Street almost to the ground. Seward Fire Department was called out at 2:52 a.m. and responded to the blaze three blocks away. By noon stubs of walls and piles of scorched wreckage were all that remained of the 3,200 square foot former daycare that has been home to Ray’s Reusables secondhand store for almost five years.

When SFD arrived on scene, the northeast side of the building was fully involved and when fire crews attempted to enter the front of the building, the roof began to buckle. At that point Seward Deputy Fire Chief Rob Mathis went on the defensive and pulled back firefighters to battle the blaze from the perimeter. Using water from two SFD fire engines and nearby hydrants the crews were able to contain the fire to the footprint of the building.

SFD contaced owner Ray Weaver early in the morning and he was on-scene at times throughout the blaze and after. The fire was officially out by 8:49 a.m. as Mathis sent Engine #2 back to the SFD station. The Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department also responded upon Mathis’ request for manpower with an additional fire engines and were clear of the scene by sunrise. The last fire engine was cleared at 12:29 p.m. Saturday.

Lil’ Kritters Daycare formerly occupied the building but moved to Bluefield Drive in October 2008. At that time Ray’s was in a building on Sixth Avenue that was due to be demolished to make way for the new Seward Community Library Museum. Ray’s relocated to the A Street site and, over the past few years, has turned into a popular community institution depended on by many locals for its diverse selection of inexpensive previously owned household goods and clothing.

Recently, the property has been advertised for sale and the building is presently appraised by the borough at nearly $190,000. SFD continues to investigate the cause of the fire, which is currently undetermined.

 

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