The Williamsburg franchise of Stein Mart, located at the Williamsburg Shopping Center, officially reopened yesterday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that started off a weekend-long celebration.
The store was closed in late July due to flooding from fire sprinklers. The sprinklers were activated by smoke from the fire that devastated Sal’s by Victor.
“There was a river of water coming down the aisles,” Gail Harris, Stein Mart’s general manager, said to the Daily Press. “Every single piece of merchandise, including the jewelry, was covered and ruined by soot.”
According to City Fire Marshall James Humphrey, the sprinklers were the reason the fire didn’t spread from the restaurant to store.
Williamsburg Mayor Jeanne Zeidler, city council members and the members of the Williamsburg Fire Department who had stopped the fire from spreading were present at the ceremony.
Events marking the reopening of the store will continue throughout the weekend and will include a storytelling session as well as an opportunity to meet firefighters Saturday. A fashion show featuring students from the College of William and Mary will take place on both days.
Working with the Williamsburg Presbytarian Church, the store offered a shopping preview for two hours
Tuesday evening, charging $5 per person. The money raised from ticket sales was donated to the Lokoro Church in Democratic Congo to feed children.
Humphrey announced in a press conference last week that the fire was accidental.
Stein Mart is one of the last stores affected by the fire to reopen. The damaged portions of Sal’s and Hallmark are still being reconstructed.