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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Thousand Oaks

2 Businesses Lost in Fire Last Year Reopen

May 08, 2000|CHRIS G. DENINA

A year ago Sunday, their practices burned to the ground. Now, they are back in business.

Dr. Majid Golzari, 48, of Westlake Village reopened West Oaks Urgent Care Center at a new location on Thousand Oaks Boulevard near Moorpark Freeway last month.

Steve Watase, 41, of Thousand Oaks opened the Anza Animal Clinic in March at the site the two businesses shared on Deusenberg Drive, near Thousand Oaks Boulevard.

They've come a long way, they said, since their businesses went up in flames in an electrical fire that started in the attic and spread through the rafters, leaving the building gutted.

"It took us months to find a new place, months to get permits, then get insurance," Golzari said.

And the past still haunts him.

"In 20 minutes, everything was gone," Golzari said. "That night, I stood there with my wife and children until 2 or 3 a.m. But my faith kicked in. Whatever happened was for a reason. God is going to help you."

Watase wasn't as optimistic. "It was a really stinking, horrible feeling," he said. "What can you say? You're at a loss for words. It's disbelief: Am I dreaming? Fortunately, we had no animals in the building that night. We oftentimes do."

The new animal clinic is nearly three times larger than before, with four examination rooms instead of two, a larger surgical area and extra room to keep cats and small dogs overnight that need extra care.

"We're a lot better in a lot of ways," Watase said. "For me, the fire has worked out in the long run. It was hard to see that the first few months."

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