Fire leaves dealers without a mall

CAMBRIDGE, Ohio – Cleanup is still taking place after Sept. 27 fire gutted the Guernsey Antique Mall and two other businesses.

The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at 623 Wheeling Ave. in Cambridge. Guernsey Antiques, Expert Floor Coverings and Eastern Ohio Art Guild Art Center were among those businesses that were destroyed in the blaze. Officials said quick action by local firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to an apartment building next door, where 55 people live.

The investigation is still in its early stages, but officials said the fire appears to be accidental. The blaze is just one in a  string of fires that have plagued the downtown area in the last year.

“I have a shop in the next block up,” shop manager Boyer Simcox told Antique Trader. “We had a fire last year at this same time that took another dealer out. We and the other vendors moved up the street – we have had three fires in the last 12 months in the downtown area.

“We are all waiting for the next shoe to drop.”

The fire is believed to have started in the attic area on the third floor of the building, fire investigator Dave Duhamel told The Daily Jeffersonian. The third floor was reportedly unoccupied.

“At this time, we do not suspect arson, but we are still not 100 percent as to the cause,” Duhamel said. “We are going to be as thorough as possible and cover all bases, as always in fire investigations.”