Mid-City fire destroys local businesses

The+warehouse+holding+Canal+Furniture+Liquidators+and+NOLA+Til+Ya+Die%2C+pictured+here+on+April+24%2C+stands+damaged+after+being+engulfed+in+flames+Monday+morning.++The+cause+of+the+fire+has+yet+to+be+discovered+and+is+under+an+ongoing+investigation.+Photo+credit%3A+Caleb+Beck
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Mid-City fire destroys local businesses

The warehouse holding Canal Furniture Liquidators and NOLA Til Ya Die, pictured here on April 24, stands damaged after being engulfed in flames Monday morning.  The cause of the fire has yet to be discovered and is under an ongoing investigation. Photo credit: Caleb Beck

The warehouse holding Canal Furniture Liquidators and NOLA Til Ya Die, pictured here on April 24, stands damaged after being engulfed in flames Monday morning. The cause of the fire has yet to be discovered and is under an ongoing investigation. Photo credit: Caleb Beck

The warehouse holding Canal Furniture Liquidators and NOLA Til Ya Die, pictured here on April 24, stands damaged after being engulfed in flames Monday morning. The cause of the fire has yet to be discovered and is under an ongoing investigation. Photo credit: Caleb Beck

The warehouse holding Canal Furniture Liquidators and NOLA Til Ya Die, pictured here on April 24, stands damaged after being engulfed in flames Monday morning. The cause of the fire has yet to be discovered and is under an ongoing investigation. Photo credit: Caleb Beck

Caleb Beck

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Jordan Stradler, a mechanic at Bayou Bicycles in Mid-City, didn’t expect to wake up to a tragedy.

“I heard your shop’s on fire, is everything all right?” was the phone call he received early Monday morning.

The three-alarm fire that broke out at 4:54 a.m. on April 23 didn’t damage Bayou Bicycles, but engulfed the neighboring warehouse that held Canal Furniture Liquidators and NOLA Til Ya Die.

“We got a broken window and a flooded parking lot, but none of this is fun to watch at all,” Stradler said.

While the blaze was contained within the day, neighbors and firefighters said the emotional damage is going to take much longer to overcome.

Stradler said the saddest things he witnessed returning to work was Bayou Bicycles owner Charile Doerr breaking down over the wreckage.

“He grew up here, a lot of the guys spent their formative years here,” Stradler said.

It took 18 units and 60 firefighters to contain the hundred-foot flames that destroyed the Mid-City warehouse. A release from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms placed the damage at $1 million.

Fire Superintendent Timothy McConnell said the impact of a fire of this magnitude is difficult to reconcile.

“The fire in Mid-City was a really tragic loss to the community economically, and to the personal losses to those business owners,” McConnell said.

Firefighter Michael Williams said that even in 24 years on the job as a professional, he’s not numb to any fire response, and sympathized with the business owners.

“Your training takes over, but you’re still human and it still takes that emotional toll,” Williams said.

While the source of the fire has yet to be disclosed in the ongoing investigation, the business owners are taking their time to collect themselves after the tragedy.

Bayou Bicycles reopened business on Tuesday, persevering through mild fire damage and a day-long setback in business.

Stradler explained that Bayou Bicycles was originally inside the warehouse when the business started, and he hopes to see the owners rebound in a positive way.

“We’re all optimistic. The owners are some of the nicest people in the world, they held classes there and were really involved in the community, I’m hoping something great comes from the ashes.

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