Two businesses heavily damaged

September 14, 2013

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Couple’s memories of son tied to store

An intense fire swept through two Granbury businesses Thursday morning, bringing emotions that extended far beyond the damaged metal buildings and contents – including the memory of an infant who died shortly after birth.

Granbury Fire Chief Darrell Grober said the back section of the metal building in the 2110 block of Highway 377 East near the Old Granbury Road intersection that housed Corbin’s Closet Kids Consignment and Boutique and Ms. Vicki’s School of Dance was a total loss. There was heavy smoke, heat and water damage in the front part of the building, although that didn’t show from outside.

Corbin’s Closet was named by Fort Worth residents Cortney and Chris Reyes in honor of their child who died two days after his birth, in January 2011. Corbin was born with an enlarged heart, and his organs failed, Chris said. Trying to deal with that trauma resulted in both parents, now age 33, losing the jobs they had. Chris explained that they were unable to return to work by the deadline they were given by their employers.

“She tried going back, but it was too difficult,” Chris said as he watched firefighters finish their work in the smoldering structure. “It was less than one month after losing our son. There really was no time to grieve, for her.”

Cortney said that because of her son’s memories so closely tied with the store, the fire left her “in shock.”

“We started the store because my son passed away,” she said, noting that they had been in the current location for a year and nine months.

“They said everything’s gone – smoke damage and water,” she said. “I feel bad for all of the (owners of the consignment items) because it’s their stuff too. And it’s my livelihood.”

Chris, who said they have a 6-year-old daughter named Kaia, said they opened their first store on Lambert Street near downtown Granbury. They left that 700-square-foot building behind for the 2,400-square-foot structure. He said the fire, smoke and water ruined about $96,000 worth of children’s and ladies clothing in the store, along with two computers.

But, that didn’t compare with losing their child, he said.

“When you lose a son, everything else seems kind of easier to handle,” Chris said. “We’ll push forward, best as possible.”

Vicki Hamrick said her Miss Vicki’s School of Dance had been in that location about six years, but she is in her 33rd year of teaching dance in Granbury. She said the losses inside her half of the building included mats, mirrors and electronic equipment.

“Not to mention all of my dance photographs (of students). That’s the hardest part,” said Hamrick, who has 158 students enrolled in classes.

No one was in the building when the fire erupted, and there were no injuries. Hamrick said she had been in the studio briefly and had just returned from her bank when she saw the smoke coming from the back.

The fire was reported at 9:13 a.m.

“I was pretty shaken,” Hamrick said, adding that most days there would have been students in the building by 9 a.m., but on Thursdays the students arrive at 10. “I had people holding me up for a while. Our neighbors at the gas station (Mobil, next door) kept me from running in there. There’s a silver lining – I know there is. God has a plan.”

The contents of both businesses were insured, the owners said.

Granbury Fire Inspector Kevin Jones said the cause of the fire has not been determined, but is under investigation.

[email protected] | 817-573-7066, ext. 254

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