Fire-damaged Midtown Market owner: 'We're broken right now, but we will come back'
BREMERTON — Fire and smoke damage may have shuttered a popular, long-running Sixth Street store, but its owner is confident it will reopen.
"We're broken right now, but we will come back," said Akash Juneja, owner of Midtown Market.
A blaze, which looks to have started somewhere in the building's electrical wiring on a frosty Tuesday night, erupted in the store's backroom. Firefighters were able to put it out, but smoke damaged the entire store.
The building dates back to 1920. The late Nick Garguile Sr., a Navy veteran turned local grocery entrepreneur, began working at the market that would eventually become Midtown Market in 1953. His daughter Lori and son Steve took it over upon his death in 2016. Juneja, who purchased the business in January 2018, said the siblings have remained close to help and reached out during the fire.
Juneja said he's been heartened by the support from neighbors and customers, including Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler, who have visited or reached out in the aftermath of the fire.
"People have been giving me hugs left and right," he said.
Bremerton Deputy Fire Marshal Geoff Burn said it's likely the fire began somewhere in the building's electrical system.
Josh Farley is a reporter covering the military and Bremerton for the Kitsap Sun. He can be reached at 360-792-9227, email@example.com or on Twitter at @joshfarley.