Businesses closed, awaiting Sugar House fire demolition

Nov 3, 2022, 7:46 PM | Updated: Nov 4, 2022, 8:58 am

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s safe to say Shere Brunjes likes chatting with people.

She owns a Sport Clips store in Sugar House, so naturally, she’s used to talking to strangers. But after being closed for a week because of the fire next door, somehow, she has found even more people to talk to.

“Stuff is happening here every day. I want to talk to everyone,” she said with a laugh.

She said her main reason for talking to everyone is because she, and about a half dozen other business owners, want to know when they might be able to open again.

“I talked to some insurance adjusters who were out here with their iPads. I talked to the disaster cleanup people. I talked to the demolition team,” she said. “I think that they are doing everything they can to expedite the situation. I think the hardest part of the whole thing is actually not knowing what is going to happen.”

Business owners met with the Salt Lake City Fire Department Wednesday night for an update on the demolition work.

However, the fire department no longer has jurisdiction over the building. It’s been turned back over to the developer.

As of Thursday afternoon, it is still being determined which city agency will take oversite of the demolition work. It’s a decision that could take a couple of days.

The apartment building caught fire on Oct. 26, 2022 and is yet to be demolished. (Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV) The apartment building caught fire on Oct. 26, 2022 and is yet to be demolished. (Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV) The apartment building caught fire on Oct. 26, 2022 and is yet to be demolished. (Meghan Thackrey, KSL-TV)

“They had to let us know that so we could understand that we needed to be more patient. They’ve been really amazing at communicating with us,” said Brunjes.

Part of that communication involved explaining how a structural engineer has to inspect what is left of the building first, then get specialized equipment to tear down the steel-reinforced part of the building.

In the meantime, Brunjes says she is paying all of her employees who work at her Sugar House location.

She is even moving them to her two other Sport Clips locations at 400 South and 600 East, as well as 1800 South and 300 West, so they can try to keep their regular clients.

“I can’t tell you how much that means to them,” she said.

As for when her Sugar House location might open again, as well as the other businesses, Brunjes said she is confident things will continue to progress.

She feels the best-case scenario is right around Thanksgiving, but she understands it could also stretch into December.

Brunjes added that she feels this way because she likes to chat.

“I’m talking to the people who are working on this and they’re very concerned. They wanted people to be able to get back into their apartments and for us to reopen,” she said. That is one of the reasons why I feel confident in the urgency.”

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Businesses closed, awaiting Sugar House fire demolition