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Picking Up the Pieces

A Pike Street building will be the new headquarters of what, for the past two years, had been Mad Hen Primitives. It was in the Front Street building where the fire was believed to have been started by two suspects.

“You never dream someone will go in and deliberately set a fire to destroy everybody's lives like they've done intentionally. It's more heartbreaking than anything else,” says building co-owner, Rilla Wetz.

While they're trying to clean up from Friday's fire, the owners of these businesses say they've had a tremendous outpouring of support from letters and e-mails from people from as far away as the New England states.

“We've had letters and e-mails through our website and the Mad Hen website. It's been a great outpouring of love,” says The Woolen Willow owner, Jennifer Gaston.

Gaston's handmade carpet business had just moved this fall into the building Mad Hen had also occupied for two years. Both stores have tried to salvage some of their items, but there doesn't seem to be much hope for sales this holiday.

“Until we find out where we stand with the insurance company, we don't know if we're going to keep a store or just do craft shows,” said Mad Hen Primitives owner, Tonya Benson.

One of the two Parkersburg men, Terley Clagg, Jr., is being held on a $105,000 bond. The other suspect, Stephen Lemon, is free on bond.


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