Everyone safe as fire destroys Warren building

A pile of burned rubble is all that remains of the building at 214 N. Wayne St., in Warren, that housed long-time retail shop D & D Bikes and several apartments upstairs. The building, owned by Salt and Light Properties LLC, burned in a fire last Friday, Dec. 22. The top floor of the building at 212 N. Wayne St. also was destroyed by the fire.
A pile of burned rubble is all that remains of the building at 214 N. Wayne St., in Warren, that housed long-time retail shop D & D Bikes and several apartments upstairs. The building, owned by Salt and Light Properties LLC, burned in a fire last Friday, Dec. 22. The top floor of the building at 212 N. Wayne St. also was destroyed by the fire. Photo by Scott Trauner.

A retail fixture in Warren is closed for good, but no one was hurt in the fire that destroyed a building in downtown Warren on Friday, Dec. 22.

The owner of the building at 214 N. Wayne St., and the owners of the business that closed both expressed a positive take on the events of last week, despite their obvious losses.

“We’re blessed. Everybody got out alive,” said Jon Frettinger, of Salt and Light Properties LLC, which owned the building.

“We’re OK, and nobody got hurt, that’s the main thing,” said Cheryl DeWeese, of D & D Bike Shop, which rented the bottom of the building from Salt and Light.

Frettinger, who lived above the bike shop with his wife, Lori, lost his home and possessions to the fire, which also destroyed the upstairs above the building next to it, at 212 N. Wayne St. Two renters residing in the apartments also lost their homes and possessions, Frettinger noted.

The Red Cross and several churches are helping out those involved, Frettinger said, and he and his wife have moved in with their son down the block in downtown Warren.

“Mostly we’re just waiting on the attorneys and insurance company to make their determinations, do all their calculations and all that,” Frettinger said of the next step to be taken.

“The three of us that lived there, basically whatever we were wearing when we walked out is what we have left. The reality of a fire.”

D & D was established in approximately 1981, George DeWeese said, and for most of that time was housed at 231 N. Wayne St. until about four years ago, when an increase in appliances at that location made the DeWeeses move the shop across the street. The company has always prided itself on having 200 bikes in stock, but Cheryl DeWeese said that she believed there may have been closer to 250 bikes on hand, along with tools and equipment.

Like Frettinger, the DeWeeses will have to wait until the insurance company can make a determination as to the monetary value of the loss, Cheryl DeWeese said, but with no empty buildings in the downtown, it doesn’t appear the bike shop will be reopened.