Goose River Grocery hosting barbeques despite fire that closed store

Barbeques to be held Aug. 2-3 and Aug. 8-9
By Ben Holbrook | Jul 29, 2014
Photo by: Ben Holbrook Kyle Skinner and his wife, Helen, who run Goose River Grocery are moving forward with their plans to host two barbeques in August despite a fire that closed the store.

Belfast — Despite being forced to close Goose River Grocery after a fire ravaged the interior of the building two weeks ago, plans to host two barbeques in August are still on.

Kyle Skinner and his wife, Helen, took over running the store back in April and are still in the process of finalizing a purchase and sale agreement to buy the building. The couple had planned a series of barbeques to take place over two weekends in August and are still moving forward with those plans in spite of a July 15 fire.

That fire, which was reported around 9 p.m., heavily damaged the interior of the store. Speaking to The Republican Journal Tuesday, July 29, Kyle Skinner said the rear portion of the building was most heavily damaged with the fire “gutting” the building to the roof.

At the time of the blaze, Fire Chief Jim Richards said the flames were most heavily concentrated in the rear of the building and the front portion sustained heavy smoke and water damage. It took firefighters approximately 10 to 15 minutes to knock down the blaze, Richards said at the time.

Skinner said the fire also destroyed large equipment and buckled the floors. Because the roof was breached as a result of the fire, water from recent storms has also infiltrated the building, Skinner said.

While no official word has been given as to the cause of the fire — a call July 29 to the state fire marshals office seeking comment was not immediately returned — Skinner said the flames were fueled by years of grease accumulation and the age of the wood in the store.

Skinner said in the wake of the fire he and his wife decided to continue with their plans to host the barbeques on the store property. The barbeques are scheduled to take place Aug. 2 and Aug. 3, as well as Aug. 8 and Aug. 9. The barbeques will be held at the store, which is located at 77 Swan Lake Ave. in Belfast, beginning at 11 a.m.

In the meantime, Skinner said he is in the process of determining the extent of the work that will need to be completed in order to get Goose River Grocery up and running again. The hope, he said, is to have the store open for business before winter arrives.

The cost of the barbeque is $10 per plate.

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