Owls Hollow set to reopen after fire

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

Barry Balderston hopes to be able to reopen his toys and games store called Owls Hollow in about three weeks. Smoke from a fire Tuesday in a used clothing store housed in the same building caused extensive smoke damage to Owls Hollow, Repeats, a grocery store and The Arthritis Society's office.

©Guardian photo by Jim Day

Barry Balderston had hoped to be back in business by now.

A fire in February caused extensive smoke damage to his commercial building in Charlottetown.

He lost close to $400,000 in inventory and contents in Owls Hollow, his popular toy and games store.

The fire also shut down business for all Balderston’s tenants in the building.

He expects all to return to the renovated and repaired building when it re-opens, he hopes, sometime in September.

“That might be a little aggressive,’’ he cautions.

Still, Balderston is both frustrated and amazed by how long the fire has shut down the building located at 95 Capital Drive.

Most of the delay, he said, has been in bringing everything up to code.

“It’s been awful, awful slow,’’ he says. “I can’t believe how long it’s taken.’’

Balderston expects all his previous tenants to return.

They include Repeats Quality Used Family Clothing that lost up to $200,000 in clothing and theatrical and Halloween costumes.

Other occupants shut down for the past five months by the fire are the Phillippine, African and South Asian Grocery, Y’s Men After School Programs office and The Arthritis Society’s Office.

The public continues to be encouraged to contact the Nova Scotia Division office for assistance at 902-429-7025 or email Sarah Drew at sdrew@arthritis.ca.

The fire was believed to have begun in the laundry room of the clothing store. No one was hurt but three people needed to flee Repeats after unsuccessful attempts were made to put out the fire with extinguishers.