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Archive for Tuesday, January 22, 1991

T PLAN TO REBUILD NOW

January 22, 1991

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Owners of downtown lots left vacant by a Christmas Eve fire said Monday they have no immediate plans for rebuilding.

"The only thing I'm planning on doing is buying some grass seed and growing grass there for awhile," said Bob Schumm, owner of 815-817 Vt.

Frances Miller, owner of 819-821 Vt., said the ruins of two buildings she owned soon would be razed, but that no further decisions had been made for the property. Rubble from Schumm's building has been removed and the lot has been graded.

Schumm said he wanted to know what Miller would do with her property and was considering all options before making a decision.

When he purchased the Civil War-era hotel about 10 years ago, Schumm said, he planned to restore it and use the first floor for "some entertainment function" and the upper stories for apartments.

He said he still was interested in seeing apartments above whatever is built on the lots, because of an apparent shortage of downtown apartments.

Four businesses were destroyed in the blaze, which raged out of control for two hours.

Fire investigators blamed faulty electrical meters and breakers at The Chapman antique shop, 819 Vt., as the likely cause of the fire.

Investigators said the fire spread rapidly in all directions from The Chapman. Also consumed were Miller Print Shop, 821 Vt., and the three-story former hotel, which housed Alley Cat Records, 817 Vt. and Systems Integration Inc., 815 Vt.

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