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May 8, 2018

Warrenton jeweler suffers minimal fire damage

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Business owner David Hartman talks with a steady stream of visitors Tuesday morning as an electrician checks wiring in the area of the fire at the front corner of his Main Street shop.
Molly’s Irish Pub, next to the jewelry shop, posted this photo and message Monday night: “Hell of a night up on Main Street. There was a small fire in the alcove next to Hartman's. Thank God it was discovered quickly, everyone is fine and damage is relatively minimal. It was quite amazing to see the response from our town. The immediate response from our firefighters was unbelievable. You guys did great; a cold pint is in order for every one of you. And we could not ask for better town officials who were there every step of the way. We will reopen as soon as is approved . . . . We live in a great town.”
We still have the building. It’s not a hole in the ground. It could be worse.
— Store owner David Hartman
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Offering a range of support, a steady stream of merchants, customers and friends Tuesday morning stopped by the fire-scarred Old Town Warrenton jewelry store.

“Whatever we can do to help,” Framecraft owner Melena Moore told David Hartman, owner of Hartman Jewelers at 36 Main St.

“Come up and sell stuff” at the 64 Main St. framing shop “while the business is closed,” her husband and co-owner Mark Moore added.

“If you need help, you’ve got my number,” Warrenton contractor Florian Dengel told the jewelry store owner.

“I know where you live,” Mr. Hartman joked.

The Monday night blaze — contained to a small corner near the store’s entrance — resulted in no damage to any jewelry, he said.

Interior and exterior damage to the building appeared largely cosmetic or easily repaired.

“The (county) fire inspector said there's no structural damage, which is a relief,” Mr. Hartman said.

For now, the fire’s cause also remains “undetermined,” according to the shop owner.

But “it’s not electrical, because there’s no electrical conduit where the fire started,” explained Mr. Hartman who rents the storefront. “That’s good. That’s a lot of peace of mind. You never know what can go wrong with old buildings.

The shop owner arrived at the scene at about 8:40 p.m. Monday.

“No fire, but lots of smoke,” he recalled. “Lots of firefighters, lots of police.”

The shop on Monday closed at 5 p.m., after which the staff spent about 30 minutes putting away jewelry and cleaning, Mr. Hartman said.

“We don’t know when it started,” he said. “It could have been smoldering for hours.”

A customer of nearby Molly’s Irish Pub saw smoke emerging from the building and called 9-1-1, Mr. Hartman said.

He hopes an insurance company adjuster on Tuesday will visit the store and determine the extent of the damage and repair costs.

“We own a business, too,” Ms. Moore, Framecraft’s co-owner. “So I was just heartbroken for them. He's our neighbor, is how we think of him. He's a great guy.”

A postal carrier delivering mail Tuesday morning expressed shock over the damage.

“It’s OK,” Mr. Hartman reassured him. “We still have the building. It’s not a hole in the ground. It could be worse.”

It remains unclear when the store will re-open but he hopes in time for Mother’s Day.

Established in 1994, Hartman’s moved to its current location almost 10 years ago.
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TooTrue · May 11, 2018 at 3:18 pm
We had similar experiences kimosabi which is why the few timies we did business with him we never went back.
ohashala · May 11, 2018 at 10:19 am
To below comment (kimosabi)
I'd first like to address that you are commenting about the experience of someone else a year later. I find a comment, such as yours, to be in poor taste considering what the article is about. Have you reached out to Hartman Jewelers to express your feelings and disappointment? I am confident they would like to know. They have excellent customer service and it surprises me that you are stating otherwise. Please give our local retailers the knowledge of your complaint within a timely manner and the courtesy to make it right. Our small town thrives on the success of everyone. Your comment, a year later, isn't helping anyone. I hope the reopening of Hartman Jewelers is swift.
kimosabi · May 9, 2018 at 3:35 pm
My fiance was in Hartman's about a year ago to look at engagement rings. I guess the woman that "waited on him" didn't think that he could afford what they had to offer. Very rude. Actually suggested he go elsewhere. Hope their customer service improves.
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