Darby’s fire could have been worse

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, November 12, 2014

“This is all just a pause in time,” Darby Short said Monday. “It could have been much worse than it was.”

That’s a wonderful attitude from someone who has just suffered a devastating business loss, particularly at the start of the year’s most active shopping season.

Short and her husband, Dennis, own and operate the popular Darby’s Gifts and Decorative Accessories in downtown Natchez, which suffered substantial damage from a fire on the third floor of the building last Friday afternoon.

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We are happy no one was injured in the fire and pleased to learn the Shorts plan to make repairs to their building and re-open their store in its original location. Darby’s has been an important part of downtown and a favorite among locals and tourists alike for more than 30 years.

In the meantime, the Shorts have opened a temporary store just down the street from Darby’s on Main Street until repairs are completed.

Short said she was buoyed by the number of people who have offered support and encouragement, despite the extensive smoke and water damage on all floors of the business.

In fact, when the fire was discovered, people who were in the store and neighbors began helping Short grab items and take them outside to avoid damage.

Those helpers who carried merchandise out of the store were able to save most of the things on the first floor. How blessed we are to live in a community in which friends, neighbors and even random passersby are willing to lend a hand to a person in need?

We are grateful the fire was discovered and extinguished so quickly. Short is correct. It could have been much worse.