K of P building awaits inspection
By Dean Shipley
Dan Adams couldn’t believe his eyes.
As he sat at the traffic light, facing north, at Mt. Sterling’s intersection of Columbus and London streets, he saw the flashing lights of emergency vehicles clustered around the 3-story brick building, the Knights of Pythias structure, on North London Street, where he has “everything.”
That includes not only his business of furniture repair and antique restoration, but also his art gallery, vintage item sales area and an efficiency apartment where he resides.
Adams parked his car and then sat on the curb on the opposite side of London Street. Eventually he was allowed to enter the building briefly to gather a few personal items, some art pieces, but could not stay inside. Members of the Knights of Pythias, who occupy the building’s second floor, were also allowed in to gather a few items.
As he was inside, albeit briefly, he could see no evidence of damage from the roof being torn off in Friday evening’s storm.
He said the building’s third floor is completely empty.
The roof over it was lying in a crumpled state on the roof of Rapp’s Hardware next door.
Jay Rapp, owner, said the second storm Sunday evening has further damaged his business. The falling roof from the neighboring building incised a sizable hole in his flat roof. Through that on Sunday poured rain which flooded the floor of his business and caused some electrical issues.
He said at one point he had an inch and a half of water on the floor.
As of Monday morning, the floor is clear of water, but shows evidence of water damage. It’s not so great that it closed him down.
“We’re staying open,” he said. “We’re hanging in there.”
As the only hardware store in town, he’s open for business for customers to purchase items to make their home and business repairs.
Dave Caudill, secretary for the Knights of Pythias, said they were allowed in the building to retrieve the chapter’s historic Bible and some vintage photographs.
He said they were waiting for a structural engineer to inspect the building to determine if it can be saved.
In the meantime, Adams said he is staying with his parents. But as he sat on the curb opposite the place he calls home, Mt. Sterling residents came up to him with offers of all manner of help from living quarters to trucks and trailers and help for a potential move.
“The people of Mt. Sterling have stood behind me one hundred percent,” Adams said.