Peddler's Village open for business after fire

LAHASKA, Pa. (WPVI) -- As the investigation into the blaze at Peddler's Village continues, the owners want their customers to know they're open for business.

"It's quite a shame, it really is, this time of year, that's for sure. I feel sorry for the people, I really do," shopper Lance Schneider said.

Schneider was one of the shoppers strolling by the scene of Tuesday night's fire at Peddler's Village in Lahaska, where crews were working to secure and clean up the building involved.

The blaze erupted just after 6 p.m. Firefighters got it under control within an hour, but not before it heavily damaged both The Nut Kettle shop and the Saint Jude Store.

"I hoped that they would still be in business, but it doesn't look like it. It's a shame, I feel bad for them," Jane Capecci of New Hope, Pa. said.

Workers at The Nut Kettle didn't want to talk, but officials at Peddler's Village are trying to get the word out to the public that all of the other 60 or so shops are open for business.

"It's very important that they come out here and they are reassured that everything was contained and it's safe and it's a wonderful time to come out and shop," Eve Gelman of Peedler's Village said.

Colleen Reilly of Cherry Hill visits every year at Christmas.
"Just the atmosphere, the lights when you come at night, just doing some unique Christmas shopping," Reilly said.

The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but the local fire marshal says investigators are focusing on a giant popcorn kettle in the nut shop's production area.

Just days before Christmas, the fire couldn't have come at a worse time for the two businesses affected.

Laurie, a former employee, says she worked at The Nut Kettle for almost 10 years.

"It's madness in there with gifts and shipping out the gifts," Laurie said.

"Well, it's the time of the year for everyone this month and this week is a really important week for both of them. So it's real sad," merchant Linda Fielder said.

The owners of The Nut Kettle not only lost their merchandise, but also all of their children's Christmas presents that were stored in the shop.

The merchants and restaurants at Peddler's Village are getting together to try and replace the presents in time for the holiday.
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