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Repairs ongoing on Tellers Gallery and Bar after Friday fire


A fire broke out Friday afternoon above Tellers Gallery and Bar which caused the restaurant to temporarily close. The fire took place in the business offices of the True/False Film Fest on the second floor above Tellers.

Servpro, a restoration and cleanup company located in Columbia, was the first to arrive on the scene behind the emergency services. The team has been working on the building since Friday to stabilize the building, prevent further damage, move food and dispose of perishable food items.

"We're usuallly right behind them [the firetrucks] to assess the damage," said Clayton Gause, the Project Manager of Servpro. "As soon as the site is cleared, we're in there assessing the damage, figuring out the first steps to stop the damage from getting worse and start cleaning up the process."

Large Loss Project Manager of Servpro, Kevin Lumbert, expects it will take up to three to six months before the building can undergo reconstruction. According to the Columbia Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeffery Heidenreich Tellers had significant water damage.

Lumbert says that this fire will have an impact on Columbia but is hopeful that Servpro's work will minimize that impact.

"Tellers is a staple, everybody's heard of Tellers and Ragtag so it's definitely going to have an impact," said Lumbert. "We're going to try to get it open as quick as possible so that way it has a minimal impact, but how do you replace Tellers?"

He says that when they arrived to the scene of the fire it was chaotic and emotional. He says there are a lot of moving parts when something like this happens.

"There's a lot of emotion. The owners are still kind of absorbing everything that's going on," said Lumbert. "We're trying to come up with a plan of action while taking their feelings into consideration. It's a lot of moving pieces, especially at the initial start of the whole process."

Around 30 firefighters arrived at the scene at Broadway and Ninth Street and they stayed until close to 6 p.m. Nobody was injured in the fire, but the building next door suffered damages as well.

Lumbert advises people to check their smoke detectors and fire suppression systems to prevent something like this from happening.

A GoFundMe was started to support the Tellers restaurant and family. According to the donations page, Tellers employees are without a job for the next three to six weeks.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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Grace Pankey


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