Clothing store was open 4 months

robin kuniski/for metro calgary


Business partners Shen Dewji, left, and Deon John stand before the rubble left after fire broke out in an adjacent store and swept through their 17 Avenue boutique, Phyne Fashions.

There’s nothing fine in a mountain of rubble that remains after a pair of 17th Avenue SW shops were reduced to cinders Sunday night.

"It’s unbelievable, really," said Deon John, co-owner of four-month-old Phyne Fashions that was destroyed alongside Westside Mountain Shop in a blaze that took more than 30 firefighters roughly two hours to contain.

"Everything’s burnt right up, man. Everything was going so well at our shop. We’ve had great support from everyone in Calgary. We’re still getting that support. We were just getting ready for spring and everything and now it’s all up in the air until this investigation is over."

John received what he thought was a prank phone call from his fellow co-owner Shen Dewji at about 6:40 p.m. Sunday to inform him that their business, which opened this past Oct. 5, was on fire.

"I laughed at first, " John said. "I thought it was a joke. I didn’t take it serious. Unfortunately, he was telling the truth."

Plumes of smoke smothered several blocks around the blaze Sunday night and a McDonalds restaurant and adjacent pub were evacuated for safety reasons. Firefighters had to smash their way through windows and security entrances to battle the fire, which began in the Westside Mountain Shop and swept through Phyne Fashions, according to witness Michael Asiamah, who owns 100% Legit Hip Hop and Casual Clothing, a store right across the street.

"I have a clothing store – how you going to feel? It’s not easy bro, even last night, I couldn’t sleep, it’s sad eh."

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