A fire that officials are calling suspicious caused more than $200,000 in damage to one of ski country's most venerable equipment and apparel stores Wednesday night.
The fire began outside of Joe Jones Sun and Ski, in North Conway, N.H., around 7:30 p.m. The business was closed, and nobody was injured, but according to WMUR-TV, witnesses could see the smoke for blocks. According to North Conway fire chief Pat Preece, there was significant water and electrical damage to the building.
"We had smoke that travelled through the entire building onto the merchandise and into the merchandise," he told WMUR. Preece also called structural damage "minor," according to the Conway Daily Sun, which also reported that no other buildings were damaged.
Officials will continue to investigate the fire, but it couldn't come at a worse time for the store with ski season ramping up. Joe Jones has been in business in the Mount Washington Valley since 1955. Sun and Ski also has other locations in Pembroke and Avon, Conn. A second Massachusetts location is slated to open in Woburn on Nov. 2.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.