Water pipe rupture damages Bellingham's Little Tiger Toys

Posted by DAVE GALLAGHER on December 9, 2013 

Tiger Toys Bellingham

Fei Cooper, an employee at Little Tiger Toys, mops up the water on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. A broken pipe led to water pouring throughout the downtown Bellingham toy store.

SELAH TAY-SONG — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BELLINGHAM - A local toy store is hoping to get back on track after a tough weekend dealing with a broken water pipe.

Water began pouring into the back room of Little Tiger Toys, 112 Grand Ave, around 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. It came from a previously frozen pipe in a vacant apartment above the store, according to store manager Selah Tay-Song.

When the water started pouring in, the four employees and customers reacted quickly, moving inventory out of the way, Tay-Song said. Because of the floor's slant, water made its way to the front of the store, forcing the employees and customers to clear a path for it.

"I'm very grateful on how fast everyone reacted. Considering how much water poured into our store, the damage we sustained could have been a lot worse," Tay-Song said. "Our biggest loss was in sales. Having the store closed on a Saturday this time of year can cost us thousands of dollars."

The water flowed into the store for about an hour until a plumber arrived. The Bellingham Fire Department prevented further damage by containing and removing the water.

The holiday shopping season typically determines whether a retail store will be profitable for the entire year. Before Saturday's closure, the store was experiencing sluggish sales, and Tay-Song is hoping for an uptick in the final few weeks of the season.

Tay-Song said the damage will be covered by insurance.

The plan is to fully reopen the store Tuesday, Dec. 10. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. this week and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. next week.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com or 360-715-2269. Read the Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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