Upstate business owners search for answers as large fire investigation continues

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ANDERSON, SC (WSPA)–The investigation into April’s fire at an Anderson strip mall is still under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Some business owners are waiting for answers, and facing some tough decisions.

The Anderson Fire Department tells us at least six businesses are closed completely. Some of the establishments are no longer present at the Marketplace Shopping Center.

A once booming strip mall, is now an emotional sight for some the business owners.

“It’s kind of weird sometimes we wake up and that store has been there so long, and we say okay we’ll run down to the Marketplace and it’s not there anymore,” said Matt Thrasher, Vice-President of Skins Hot Dogs.

Thrasher and his brothers recently had to tear down their restaurant after it suffered massive water and smoke damage. Skins Hot Dogs has been in the shopping center since 1988.

“Having your second best store just go up in flames is pretty devastating to us,” Thrasher said.

The Anderson Fire Department tells us other businesses have been torn down too.

“The Skins building is gone now and then all the way over to Dollar General. And Dollar General is pretty much gutted. And Ollies is in the process of cleaning up and cleaning out,” said Captain Travis Poore, Public Information Officer for Anderson Fire Department.

Poore said the fire started in the post office, but the ATF is still waiting on lab results to determine what happened and how they will proceed.

“Even as far as rebuilding, I’m not even sure if they’re going to rebuild there,” Poore said.

The family-owned hot dog restaurant has many locations across the Upstate, but Thrasher said he’s longing to be back in their old establishment soon.

“Waiting for answers, patiently waiting for answers, and yeah…would love to go back,” Thrasher said.

7 News is working to find out what the future looks like for the post office and other businesses.

Thrasher said they will work with an insurance company and their landlord to see if they can rebuild.

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