By Eileen Bailey
ABERDEEN – Work will begin within two weeks on a historic Aberdeen building that was damaged last month by fire.
Glenn Houston, director of the Aberdeen Main Street program, said the group’s board of directors has hired someone to work on the brick outer structure of the Sirles Building. The Main Street program owns the Sirles Building.
The work, which should take a month or two, will help reinforce walls that were damaged during the fire.
The fire was reported about 8:50 a.m. on Feb. 14 and smoldered throughout the day. The fire destroyed a restaurant, a vacant office and a barber shop located in the almost 126-year-old building.
A small hole in a flexible gas line behind a grill in Becka’s Burger Shack, one of the business in the building, caused the fire, said Aberdeen Fire Chief Herbert Rieves.
Houston said the goal of the board of directors is to “put back the original design” of the building.
“We would like to save as much of the original facade of the building as possible,” Houston said. At some point in the last few years a third door had been added to the front of the building that faces Commerce Street. The renovated building will have just two doors on the front, she said.
After the outer part of the building is repaired and renovated, the group will look at restoring the interior of the building. The entire project should take about six months, Houston said.
It is not known what types of businesses will move into the building, she said.
Architect Sam Kaye of Columbus is assisting the Main Street program with the project. “We are excited and ready to get to work,” Houston said.
The building’s insurance is adequate to cover the work that needs to be done, she said.