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Pharmacy Fire Could Be Prescription for Trouble

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RALEIGH — When a Raleigh drug store went up in flames, some customers feared their prescriptions did as well.

While investigators try to determine the cause of the fire that ripped through Quail Corners Monday, store owners try to minimize the fire's effect.

"It looks like pretty much everything in the store was destroyed or smoke-damaged or water-damaged. So I'd say everything's pretty much gone," says Eckerd Vice President John Sensabaugh.

Eckerd drug store representatives got their first look inside Tuesday. The building was completely lost, but they say customers who rely on life-saving prescriptions will not suffer as a result.

The store's back-up computer files survived the blaze, and prescriptions will be filled at the nearby Sutton Square drug store.

"I think we filled probably 25 to 30 prescriptions yesterday just on a couple of days' supply to get the customers through until today, when the files will be transferred and we'll be able to fill all of our customers' prescriptions at that store," Sensabaugh says.

Priceless Christmas pictures were also saved, and will be transferred to the Sutton Square store.

Store representatives say calls to the Quail Corners store will be forwarded to the Sutton Square location.

There is also a banner hanging outside the store telling customers where to go for help.

The company hopes to set up temporary trailers by the end of the week so they can serve customers in the Quail Corners parking lot.

Right now, they don't know when the store will reopen.

For other businesses, getting things back in order will take a little more work.

The owner at 1302 Millbrook Road may be happy to see this year come to an end. A fire destroyed Andy's Pizza back in February, and Monday, flames damaged his business again.

"They're saying that the roof suffered so much damage and that's why I can't have electricity, because there is still that water damage," said Greg Kanas, Andy's Pizza owner.

Kanas spent more than $300,000 after the last fire, but he expects the cost should be significantly less this time because more items can be saved.

The opposite is true for the Circle K convenience store a few doors away. There, everything has to go.

"We'd rather be safe than sorry for anyone to get hurt by the damage of the products. So in order to insure the safety of the customers, we decided to throw everything away," said Jim Harper from the Circle K convenience store.

That includes unopened bottles and chips. But they hope to have the shelves restocked by the end of the week.

It could take Kanas at least a month to start baking again, but he says the restaurant will reopen for business.

Andy's pizza seems to be the hardest hit business with the exception of Eckerd Drugs. Most of the other shops expect to be reopen by next week.

All of the businesses we spoke to did have insurance so that's good news. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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