Nearly a year after fire heavily damaged the Browse Awhile Books in historic downtown Tipp City, the store is set to reopen this weekend.
The reopening of the rebuilt store is scheduled during the annual Antique and Artisan Show downtown.
A crowd filled the sidewalk outside the business Thursday as owner Bill Jones thanked those who have supported him and the business since the fire that struck the night of June 20-21, 2016.
“Everybody has been as supportive as could be,” he said. He specifically pointed to local business Amity Mold that provided cartons for the storage of books following the fire; Ginghamsburg Church, which provided storeage space for months and a box truck for transporting books; the city; and the community overall.
The fire destroyed the upper area of the 1871 building, damaging upstairs apartments and the business below.
Jones said once the rebuilding was nearing completion the sorting and shelving of 25-30 tons of books began. Each was dusted and cleaned, with those not suited for return to the shelf discarded or donated to Goodwill. The majority of books have been shelved with last minute work such as labeling shelves to be done before the official opening, he said.
The two upstairs apartments again are occupied, one by a couple that escaped the fire.
“It is sort of like having the family back together again,” Jones said.
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