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After fire, one of Hinesville's oldest downtown businesses back in business
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The New and Not Shop is back in business after a fire in September closed it for more than a month. - photo by Tiffany King

One of Hinesville’s oldest downtown businesses is back in business.

The New and Not Shop on South Main in downtown Hinesville reopened Nov. 8 after being damaged by a fire in September.

Cullen Barnes, who works at the store owned by his mother Linda Barnes and her sister Peggy Williamson, said the family wasn’t going to let the fire close the consignment store, which has been in their family for decades.

“It’s been very profitable and people really like shopping here,” he said. “Everyone that’s been in the store this week told us how much they missed us and we missed everybody too. And we missed seeing the public.”

The New or Not  Shop has been open since November 1979. The building it sits in was owned by Cullen Barnes’ grandparents, and before it became a consignment shop it was a grocery store and variety store.

But a Sept. 25 fire almost ended that history.

The Hinesville Fire Department said it started inside a dumpster with cardboard boxes outside the rear of the building. Authorities have arrested a woman, Nichole Stokes, after she allegedly admitted to starting the fire, but gave no motive.

Most of the damage was done to the rear of the building, the rafters towards the back room were burnt and items in the store received smoke damage.

Linda Barnes thanked the Hinesville Fire Department for their quick response. She said the fire could have spread to other businesses along Main Street because of the buildings being connected together.

Work to restore the building after the fire started right away. Barnes said that the front of the building suffered smoke damage and a company was brought in to do an ozone treatment in the building.

The treatment is done by a machine that emits small amounts of ozone to destroy molecules, bacteria and spores that create unpleasant smells.

 “A company came in and did ozone that cleaned the air to get the smoke out,” Cullen Barnes said. “They took all of our clothes in the backroom with them and they are treating them and will bring them back on Monday.”

There’s still some work to be done, but it’s minor.  

Cullen Barnes thanked everyone who was involved and the city inspectors for their help with the reopening process.

He also thanked a local resident who called in the fire. He said she woke up to roll up her car windows and when she went outside and saw the fire and called 911.

Barnes said for those looking to sell items, New and Not Shop is again accepting consignments, and current clients have been given extra time for their merchandise to sell since the store was closed for several weeks.

The New or Not Shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.


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