COVINGTON - Fire damaged a portion of the C&S Mini-Mall at 3192 Washington St. on Monday night, but a quick response by firefighters saved the majority of the building.
The fire apparently started in a hair salon located in the mall, and the cause is still under investigation, according to Covington fire officials.
"At the current time, it does not appear to have been set intentionally," said Fire Capt. Rob Christopher.
The building was not occupied at the time of the fire, Christopher said.
The property, located at the corner of Washington and West streets, is owned by Jimmy Clark Jr., a Democratic candidate for the District 3 county commission seat, and his business partner, Ernest Sims.
The two recently received permission from the City Council to open a comedy club and restaurant in a vacant space there. The occupied portion of the building includes a hair salon and flower shop.
Christopher said "a considerable amount" of damage was done to the Exceptional Hair salon, where the fire burned through the ceiling, and Flowers By Dorothy next door also suffered damage.
Firefighters were called to the property at around 11:30 p.m. and were able to extinguish the fire within about 35 minutes.
"Firefighters had a good knock-down. They got a good stop on it. They helped preserve the property," Christopher said.
The portion where the comedy club will be was not damaged, according to Clark, who said he received a call around midnight notifying him the building was on fire. He said the comedy club opening, originally set for July or August, will be delayed.
"It's just such a shock to see your dreams delayed. You work so hard at something, to put something together and for something like this to happen and there's no answer. I'm just sort of stunned and in a daze, but the God I serve, he will provide," he said.
Crystal Tatum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.