Suit Corner fire will cost neighboring businesses

Emergency workers assess the damage at Suit Corner on Thursday, a day after it went up in flames. Credit: Paige Ozaroski/Metro
Emergency workers assess the damage at Suit Corner on Thursday, a day after it went up in flames. Credit: Paige Ozaroski/Metro

Delvonne Bell will miss the customers carrying the “suit shop” bags.

“We’ll miss the foot traffic,” she said.

Bell, owner of Old City Flowers on South Third Street, said she closed at 2 p.m. after the two-alarm fire broke out at the 60-year-old landmark store in Old City Wednesday morning.

In the wake of the fire, which destroyed the building at the corner of Third and Market streets, Bell said she would feel the effects.

“I would say on a daily basis because a lot of guys come in here with Suit Corner bags,” she said. “Might miss one or two days out the week where you don’t see any bags.”

She would typically see men come through after a shopping spree. “And on their way back, they usually get something for their girlfriend,” she said.

Federal officials begin their investigation Thursday into the fire that crippled the store. Some estimates put the cost of the fire around $1 million.

Bell said she has worked at the shop for the past three years, and she said she’d become friendly with the store’s workers — and that they’ve been through a lot together.

“Third Street has been through so much since I’ve been here,” she said. “It was just one thing after another since I’ve been here. It seems like every summer, something is going out there. The street is blocked off, we lose electric, they tore up the street. It’s just crazy.”

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