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Saturday, November 25, 2007
Pottsville Republican/Evening Herald

Shenandoah blaze destroys store, bar

SHENANDOAH ? Smoke was still drifting down the 100 block of Main Street on Saturday afternoon following a devastating fire that took more than eight hours to extinguish and injured several firefighters.

The former Davison?s furniture store at 113 N. Main St., which now houses Berk?s Thrift Store, and Thunder Road nightclub, 121-123 N. Main St., were destroyed in the fire. Another building, the former Berson?s Jewelry Store, also sustained damaged.

Fire crews were called to the Davison?s building about 9 p.m. Friday. Shenandoah fire Chief Richard Mensick said Saturday afternoon the fire was roaring until 4 a.m., but he couldn?t say where it started or what started it.

?It?s still under investigation,? Mensick said. ?We had some firefighters sustain minor injuries, but no civilians.?

Mensick said he expects all the firefighters to be fine.

The 100 block of Main Street remained closed to traffic Saturday afternoon as crews continued their investigation.

Police said the Davison?s building and Berk?s Thrift Store is owned by Vinnie and Carol Campeneli. Carolyn Michaels, owner of the Oyster Bar along Main Street, said the Campenelis own another furniture store in New Jersey.

Robert Barbarsky, owner of Thunder Road said he and his wife, Angie, had no insurance on the building. The couple doesn?t know what they are going to do next.

?We opened in July,? Barbarsky said. ?November 22 we get closed down. That quick.?

Joe Weigley, a bouncer at Thunder Road, said little was salvaged from the bar.

?Just beer so far,? Weigley said. ?A whole lot of beer.?

Robert said employees in the nightclub saw the flames around 9 p.m., just as a DJ was setting up inside the bar.

?My bouncers saw it out the window,? Barbarsky said. ?We had a couple of patrons in here.?

Robert said all the patrons and employees left the building without injury.

The nightclub opened its doors in July after struggles with neighbors, borough officials and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Friday night?s fire is the third major fire on Shenandoah?s Main Street in the past two years. On Jan. 3, 2006, the C&R Emporium at 14-16 S. Main St. was destroyed by fire. Several other businesses, including Slender Solutions, Wonderlick?s Men?s Store and the borough tax office, were located in the building. Kyle R. Crouch, 22, was arrested about a year later, on Jan. 15, 2007, and charged with setting fire to the building.

On June 10, a blaze ripped through the former Shenandoah Post Office and several other buildings, causing more than $200,000 in damage. Investigators said someone intentionally set fire to a camper owned by James Blair that was parked near a garage behind his 213 S. Main St. home, but no arrest was ever made.

?The REPUBLICAN & Herald 2007

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