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Several Spotsylvania businesses displaced by storm
Ryan Fines (left) of Battery Charge looks over the damage to the family's store on Monday.
SUZANNE CARR ROSSI/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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BY JEFF BRANSCOME
Three small businesses in a Spotsylvania County strip center near Four-Mile Fork were displaced after Sunday's storm that destroyed the nearby Cheer Fusion All-Stars gym.
Virginia Mattress Direct & Wholesale Furniture, Battery Charge LLC and SetN Trendz Salon were deemed unsafe to occupy on Monday by Spotsylvania building inspectors.
Deputy building official David Ansell said it looked like the heavy winds "just sort of peeled the roof back" from the stores in Fleming Center off U.S. 1.
Meteorologists on Monday said the damage was caused by a microburst--a straight-line blast of wind. The Cheer Fusion All-Stars gym on Fleming Street was blown apart, and two people who had been inside were still in the hospital as of Monday evening.
Some of the the business owners in Fleming Center say they don't expect to reopen for several months and will look for temporary locations.
The heavily damaged section of the small strip center was built in the 1960s, and the other stores were added later, said owner James Gardner. Penn-Mar Floor Service previously occupied much of the center, and used what became the Cheer Fusion building as a warehouse after it was built in 1989.
Ginny's Seafood & Deli and Anytime Limousines--which are in the center's newer property--had water damage, but their roof is intact.
Ginny Newman, who owns the seafood store, said Monday that she hopes to reopen in a couple of days. "We were very fortunate," she said.
Kenny Blaney, owner of Anytime Limousines, said none of his vehicles were damaged, and he's still doing business.
Not all of the business owners were so lucky.
Drew Frye, 33, who owns the mattress and furniture store, said he's already started scouting temporary locations.
He said he's glad nobody was in the store during the storm. He noted that his two young children are often there with him.
"As tough as the economy is, it's a blow, but we'll make it through it," Frye said. "It's unfortunate, but it's fortunate we weren't here."
Most of his stock is in a nearby warehouse, he said, and he can continue selling on his website, vamattress.com.
Crystal Smith, who owns SetN Trendz Salon, said she also plans to move her business during the repairs.