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Owner on Oregon St. fire: ‘we were very fortunate’

By Vienna Montague, Producer
Published On: May 16 2014 08:37:52 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

The owner of a business damaged by fire at a building in downtown Redding says he's very fortunate.

The fire started Thursday morning on the second floor of a building on Oregon Street, one level above Dave and Julie West’s business Studio West Marketing.

Damage coated the inside of the building: wet carpeting, soaked ceiling tiles and the smell of smoke permeating the air.

Dave West and his partner were at work when it broke out.

“The smoke came in through the vents. We went out in the hall and it was full of smoke,” West said. “We grabbed external drives, computers, cameras, equipment, everything that we could and drove off to a safe place.”

West said he wasn’t sure if an alarm went off.

“Didn’t hear anything,” West said. “Can’t say that it wasn’t, but I didn’t hear anything.”

Robert Cronic of Servicemaster was waiting to survey the building.

“The roof might be compromised. We’ve got an engineer coming to check that out,” Cronic said. “And there’s also the possibility it was pre-1978 so it might have some asbestos issues as well.”

West was able to get $60 to $80 thousand worth of equipment out, but still plans to move his business.

West said he considers himself lucky despite the setback.

“We see these stories of fire, like down south right now, with homes being destroyed, and how difficult it must be. And we’re kind of comfortable in our homes watching it on the news, and then [when] it happens, you act just like they act,” West said. “It is unbelievably surreal. We were very fortunate and I’m blessed for that.”