Burn-out a 'kick in the guts' for Aamundsens
Chris and Kendra Aamundsen are "twice kicked, three times shy" following the loss of Vintage Vibe.
© Nathan Liewicki
Chris Aamundsen (right), owner of Vintage Vibe, watches as the fire engulfs his business on High Street West Wednesday night.
The Aamundsens are not strangers to fire. Their first business — Joyner's Antique Emporium — burned down in 2004.
"It was a kick in the guts to us, because all of the sudden lightning has struck twice in the same place," he told the Times-Herald Thursday.
They won't be starting a third business.
"We're done … Especially when it's the same thing happening the second time around, through no fault of our own, we're not starting up (again)," he said. "We can't afford that, in either money or our wellbeing.
"My wife put her heart and soul into that store, again, and we're not going to go through this again," said Aamundsen. "In all kinds of ways, it's very difficult."
Chris and Kendra are spending the day following the fire with family and friends, he said.
"We woke up, and we've had phone calls from everybody about the store," said Aamundsen. "We've had a lot of people phoning … and they wish us well, and they're very sorry this has happened again.
He said his daughter and sister-in-law were able, with the help of the Moose Jaw Fire Department, to recover a few custom-painted mannequins from the storefront before the building was demolished.
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"Those are my wife's hobby, and to have something from the store — they weren't part of the store, but they were part of the ambience of the store — we're happy to have them, that's for sure," said Aamundsen.
He said the couple's business was insured, and that they were trying to arrange an appointment with their insurance people.
"We learned from the last one there. We have insurance, and we followed the insurance peoples' recommendations really well this time," said Aamundsen.
He said that the safety of others who lived and worked in the business was "first and foremost" on his mind when he and his wife arrived on the scene of the fire late Wednesday night.
"The first thing I asked the police when I came down there was, 'Did everybody get out?' They said, 'Yes,'" Aamundsen said.
"I'm really relieved — we're both relieved — about that. The last thing we'd want is somebody being hurt in that."