They’d planned to restock shelves, tidy up and prepare for another onslaught of post-holiday bargain shoppers, but employees at the New Town Old Navy found themselves in a different sort of recovery Saturday morning.
A fire in a light above a rack of clothes had sparked a bigger fire after midnight Saturday. James City County fire department units responded to the alarm around 3:50 a.m., and found no fire showing at the Main Street store but a lot of smoke.
Deputy Fire Chief Bob Ryalls said firefighters found moderate heat but realized quickly the fire had been put out by the overhead sprinkler system.
“Basically, the sprinkler system did was it was supposed to do,” said Ryalls, adding it was an especially good outcome considering the nature of a clothing store carries a “high fire load.”
Store employees were left to deal with soggy merchandise, which they were able to clean up in time to reopen the store Sunday. A couple of lights were out, and a small amount of inventory wet, but otherwise it was business as usual, an employee said.
Ryalls said minor damage due to water seepage was reported at the next-door Barnes and Noble, and actual damage to the Old Navy store was minimal. No dollar estimates were available, he said.