RIDGWAY, Oct. 1, 8:48 p.m. – On the outside, it appears Ridgway Outdoor Experience escaped the two-alarm fire at the adjacent Galloping Goose Bakery & Café on Sept. 14 damage-free, but a closer look reveals the town’s iconic outdoor store was affected, and still is today.
After the smoke cleared, owner Albert Adams – who’s store has been running on a generator since the day after the fire – thought he came away from the incident in good shape, since the Goose’s damage was so extensive it was shut down, and the neighboring Head to Toes by Melody hair salon’s doors remained closed late last week while cleaning crews took care of heavy smoke damage.
“I feel fortunate,” said
To help combat the smoke smell,
The water damage was so extensive – firefighters pumped water on the building for nearly five consecutive hours – the carpet had to be ripped out of the now-vacant Foley Associates, Inc. space located above Ridgway Outdoor Experience. That empty section also received wide spread fire damage on its south end, and water and smoke damage throughout.
“With the extent of the fire next door and the amount of smoke in here, I thought anything of fabric would be history,” said Adams, who carries numerous lines of winter jackets and pullovers, along with hats, gloves and shoes. “I’m still looking at it and writing it up; I’ll have to replace some carpet, slippers and shoes.
“When the fire was roaring, I was in here throwing everything from [the south] wall to the [north] wall, then we tarped it. I also came in and threw my credit card machine and cash register into my truck.”
Since the blaze, which started around 1:40 p.m. just before closing time for the Goose and brought droves of firemen from Ridgway and Ouray’s volunteer crews, Adams has steam-cleaned the carpet and re-wired the lighting to a makeshift tract lighting system powered by the generator. He also got his phone system hooked up last week, as the fire melted the lines. While the phone system was down,
The fire engulfed a portion of the northwest corner of the bakery and adjoining breezeway to the north.
Despite the extensive damage to the Goose, co-owner Lisa Lockhart has been able to stay in business, although at a different location. She continues to serve breakfast (6-11 a.m. daily) at the True Grit Café at
“Breakfast has been good,” Tuttle said. “We’re going well. We have had a great turnout. The community has been very, very supportive. You just do that in a small town.”
“We’re settled in,” said Lockhart after finishing up feeding a capacity crowd around 11 a.m. one day last week. “We’re getting our regulars, they’re coming in again.
“Tammee’s been great; the whole community has been great. Their support has been overwhelming.”
Lockhart said it was imperative that she reopen her business as quickly as possible.
“My biggest thing was my employees and customers,” she said. “I have business interruption insurance, but that doesn’t cover my employees, so Tammee was grateful enough to let us come here and work with her crew and keep my employees earning money.”
The fire destroyed nearly the entire bakery and Lockhart’s upstairs office, but left her computer hard drive intact. Thanks to computer guru Rick Stewart, the Goose’s books aren’t cooked, as he was able to salvage the restaurant’s financial records on the computer – and three checks Lockhart needed to deposit later that day after closing. “They were just water-logged,” she said.
Lockhart estimates reopening the Goose at its original location by the new year, after extensive renovations are completed on the bakery.
“We just need to clean the restaurant side,” she said. “Maybe we’ll have a New Year’s Eve party there for the reopening, and a cookout.”
She will start producing her bakery’s tasty pastries again this week.
Lockhart said she couldn’t emphasize enough the thanks she has for the fire departments’ timely response. “It’s nice to be in a community like this,” she said. “My spirits are up now.”