Fire costs Yarnell some business while others thrive - Tucson News Now

Fire costs Yarnell some business while others thrive

The Yarnell Hill fire destroyed more than 100 homes last summer and Main Street Yarnell lost a lot of business. (Source: CBS 5 News) The Yarnell Hill fire destroyed more than 100 homes last summer and Main Street Yarnell lost a lot of business. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Anne Smirke opened Penny Lane Collectibles in Yarnell just two months ago, and business has been strong, she said. (Source: CBS 5 News) Anne Smirke opened Penny Lane Collectibles in Yarnell just two months ago, and business has been strong, she said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Smirke's business has been thriving. "So many people have come into the shop since I've opened it," she said. (Source: CBS 5 News) Smirke's business has been thriving. "So many people have come into the shop since I've opened it," she said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
But Barbara Hamilton might have to close her bar because business has been so bad. (Source: CBS 5 News) But Barbara Hamilton might have to close her bar because business has been so bad. (Source: CBS 5 News)
"I understand we have 46 empty mailboxes at our post office now. And the grocery store is going out," Hamilton said. (Source: CBS 5 News) "I understand we have 46 empty mailboxes at our post office now. And the grocery store is going out," Hamilton said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
YARNELL, AZ (CBS5) -

The Yarnell Hill fire destroyed more than 100 homes last summer and Main Street Yarnell lost a lot of business.

Some places have bounced back, but others are struggling.

Anne Smirke, for instance, is simply smitten over her thriving antique shop.

"I thought there were so many opportunities and potentials here," Smirke said.

Originally from California, Smirke opened Penny Lane Collectibles just two months ago, and business has been strong, she said.

"So many people have come into the shop since I've opened it and just the nicest people that live here," Smirke said.

But she said she still has to fight the perception that Yarnell was wiped away by last year's fire.

"Is there any business down there, you know? Can you make a living?" she said repeating some of the questions she gets. "It's unbelievable, but I've really done well."

But some business owners said they're concerned about Yarnell's future.

For example, take the bar The Place, known as "Barbara's" to locals. A year ago, it would have been packed, especially during its happy hour.

"Sunday, I made $27. Monday I made $63 and yesterday I made $31," owner Barbara Hamilton told CBS 5 News last week.

But Hamilton might not be able to keep her bar open much longer.

"I'm very sad about it," she said. "You know, I've learned to love this town. I've been here for 40 years. It's sad to see this town drying up and it's going to be blown away pretty soon. "

Hamilton said the Yarnell Hill Fire forced many who lost their home to simple pack up and leave.

"I understand we have 46 empty mailboxes at our post office now. And the grocery store is going out," Hamilton said.

Though she said she hopes Yarnell will see a revival, she's not holding her breath.

"I don't know if it can or not," she said. "I think that fire really did it."

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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