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Blaze Rips Through Moorpark Thrift Store : Disaster: The nonprofit Luther's Attic sustains $35,000 worth of property damage.

May 09, 1995|IRA E. STOLL

A two-alarm fire gutted a thrift store in historic downtown Moorpark Monday night, causing an estimated $35,000 in property damage, authorities said.

There were no injuries, and firefighters were able to prevent the blaze from spreading to a hardware store and restaurant that adjoin the thrift store on either side.

The fire was caused by smoking materials that ignited a couch, said Ventura County Fire Department spokeswoman Annie Ironside.

The nonprofit Luther's Attic thrift store at 189 E. High St. is staffed mostly by volunteers. It raises funds for the Good Shepherd Lutheran School in Simi Valley and two Lutheran preschools in Camarillo, said Esther Janke, a Simi Valley resident who volunteers at the store.

Janke said she was shocked by news of the fire at the store, which sells donated clothing, furniture and appliances.

Ironside said James Whitaker owns the one-story stucco structure that houses Whitaker's Hardware Store, Luther's Attic and the Cactus Patch restaurant. Whitaker could not be reached for comment.

Joan Martinez, co-owner of the Cactus Patch, said she felt "very fortunate" that the fire was stopped before it spread to her business or to the hardware store, with its flammable wood and paint.

The fire started at 7:15 p.m. and was contained by 8, said Rhonda Kauer, another spokeswoman for the Fire Department.

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