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Pearisburg business leaving a stink

By Orlando Salinas, osalinas@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jun 23 2014 05:53:18 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 23 2014 05:55:39 PM EDT

Stinky problem following fire at one Pearisburg business

PEARISBURG, Va. -- -

Some people in Pearisburg say they're dealing with a "stinky problem," five months after a fire destroyed a local business.

John Spaur owns John's Auto Service, which sits right next to the problem.

"Well you just get [the stench] at certain times. It'll just knock you crazy."

Spaur pointed to flies buzzing in and out of broken window panes.

"Right there's one of my flies coming out there now!"

The outdoor shell of the 7 Day Market doesn't look so bad, but one look inside the sandwich shop and you see the heavy damage.

This past January, in the middle of Winter, the business caught fire. Five months later with temperatures soaring into the 90s, neighbors say the stench from the meat, milk, cheese and vegetables left inside the industrial coolers is just too much.

Marvin Munsey was standing outside the store when this reporter walked up and asked how bad the problem was.

"Pretty aggravated if you want to know the truth about it because it smells. You have the blow flies coming into the place. I mean, overwhelmed with flies and there's nothing being done about it."

Kenneth Vittum is the Pearisburg town manager. Vittum says the town is working with the health department and the business owner who the town says is getting a demolition permit to tear the place down.

"We have, from the town's standpoint, had the building secured from entry and have responded several times about odor complaints and potential rodent complaints."

Firefighters, on the scene that night, said the rubber seals around the coolers were melted off and there was nothing stopping the mice and flies from getting in.

Spaur said he's reached out to anyone who'd listen.

Vittum says the town can't just go in and tear down someone's private property. By law, it must go through a lengthy process and says it has.

This reporter could see old packages of ham, five months later, still laid out on the front counter.

The bigger problem though are the coolers still packed with food. Health department officials say it's best to tear the building down first and NOT open those industrial coolers until then.

Spaur said he's been in business for 38 years. In that time, he said he's never had a problem like this.

"We've got the mice, we got the flies and 'bout ever two days, the smell's so bad, we can't even shut the door to eat and keep the flies out."