Landmark Dalton business reopens after devastating fire - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Landmark Dalton business reopens after devastating fire

Ten words sum up life for Dalton's Tameka Roberts, since November 19.

"It was a hard ending, but it's a new beginning," she says.

"New' for her, and her employer Hurt's Master Cleaners, is a corner storefront in one of Dalton's prime shopping areas off of Walnut.

It sure beats the past 45 days.

"You don't get to see each other, and we've all been calling each other," she says.

"You feel lost."

Friday before Thanksgiving, she'd thought Hurt's lost it all.

A gas dryer's fire threatened nearby businesses, and gutted its storefront on King Street down to the bricks. Twenty firefighters battled for hours. One, Mark Richardson, 38, suffered a heart attack.

The Reverend Ronald McKinney lost his shirt, figuratively.

"They have insurance, and those things will be taken care of, I'm sure," he says.

But Doug Hurt feared he'd lost a third-generation 91-year-legacy.

"We thought about going to the beach or whatever," he says.

"But we decided to jump right back in."


On the same spot.

"We were able to save the hard drive from the computer, the tickets, that helped us out with a lot of the insurance process," he says.

Hurt expects the damages  to top $500,000 in equipment and customers' property. Among the losses; 110 band uniforms from Dalton High School. He anticipates the remodeling and reconstruction will take eight to ten months.

Things have come together so quickly the signs are still up from the previous occupant, Morsels Bakery. Opening day, Monday,  customers still were coming in asking for cupcakes."

"What Hurt's customers and employees stay for, is far more filling.

"they take care of you no matter what," The Rev. McKinney says.

"You get attached to em, you know everybody's name," Roberts says

A 'pressing' matter sealed it for the Reverend.

"I had a funeral and I needed a suit cleaned and they did a rush job of two or three hours," he says.

"You just don't find that kind of personal help every day.When people give, it comes back."


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