Fire deals major blow to Charlottetown used clothing store

Repeats Quality Used Clothing owner estimates loss of $200,000 in merchandise

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 18, 2014

The owner of Repeats used clothing store in Charlottetown fears more than $200,000 worth of merchandise was damaged in a fire this morning.

©Guardian photo by Jim Day

A fire has left Nadine Ramsay facing the prospect of starting over from scratch after operating a popular used clothing store in Charlottetown for the past 18 years.

Ramsay told The Guardian she fears none of the clothing in Repeats Quality Used Family Clothing at 95 Capital Drive is salvageable following heavy smoke damage Tuesday morning.

She has $70,000 in insurance coverage but estimates the clothing and large assortment of theatrical and Halloween costumes in stock are valued at $150,000 to $200,000.

"I hope to still keep going,'' she said.

Ramsay and Barry Balderston, who owns the building that houses Repeats as well as Owls Hollow, tried to put out the blaze with fire extinguishers.

The smoke became too heavy and they, along with another employee of Repeats, needed to flee the building. Ramsay discovered shortly after that she had singed her hair slightly while trying to extinguish the fire.

No one was injured, however. No one was shopping at Repeats when the fire broke out.

"We were walking through thick smoke when we got up into the foyer,'' she said.

"So it was filling up really quick.''

Balderson says the fire started in the laundry room.

"It really came on fast...there was some fire but mostly smoke,'' he said.

Balderston says three or four fire extinguishers were emptied trying to put out the fire.

The building is insured.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at about 10:50 a.m.

"Upon arrival we saw a lot of smoke showing so we made entry and knocked down the fire,'' said Charlottetown fire department's Deputy Chief Tim Mayme.

The Arthritis Society’s office, which is housed in the same building, will be closed until further notice. The public is encouraged to contact the Nova Scotia division office for assistance at 902-429-7025 or e-mail Sarah Drew at sdrew@arthritis.ca.