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Sugar Shack espresso stand ransacked, torched

Michelle Theriault Boots
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester
A fire destroyed Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis near East 37th Avenue Wednesday morning, May 22, 2013. Owner Gary Loyd said he was notified at 4 a.m. of the damage. Loyd says it appears a window was kicked in and the business was ransacked before it burned. The structure is a total loss, he said. "We're devastated," Loyd said. "It feels like a bad dream right now." As Loyd cut plywood to board up the building, patrons frequently stopped to express their sympathy. Loyd says the business, which he opened in 1998, was insured and he hopes to have a another stand in place as soon as possible. Sugar Shack has a second location on 5th Avenue near Karluk Street.
Marc Lester

A fire scorched the Sugar Shack espresso stand on Lake Otis Parkway near East 37th Avenue early Wednesday morning, the Anchorage Fire Department said.

The stand was ransacked before it was set on fire, said Linda Loyd, who owns the Sugar Shack with her husband Gary.

"It's awful," she said. "We've had break-ins before but to actually start it on fire -- what's the sense in doing that?"

The AFD received an initial call about the fire at 4:04 a.m. on Wednesday, said spokesman Al Tamagni.

Twelve fire units initially responded. The blaze was under control by 4:15 a.m., he said.

The fire is considered suspicious and is being investigated as arson, Tamagni said.

The Loyds, who own another Sugar Shack location on Fifth Avenue near Karluk Street, said their businesses had been broken into a handful of times in the 15 years they've been in business. The Sugar Shack was one of the first Anchorage espresso stands, Loyd said.

"Usually the people who break in just take some muffins or cookies or Red Bull or something," she said.

AFD investigators estimated losses at $30,000 but Loyd said she believed the costs to rebuild would be much more.

"As far as we can tell the contents are a total loss," said Loyd. "The espresso machines alone are $15,000."

The owners have insurance and say they plan to reopen as soon as possible.

Surveillance video of the stand has been turned over to police, Loyd said.

 

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtheriault@adn.com or 257-4344.

 

 

 


By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
mtheriault@adn.com