MISSOULA — One boutique is recovering from water damage after a small fire broke out inside the Southgate Mall on Sunday.
 
A car on display caught fire near the front entrance which activated the sprinkler system, flooding the mall.
 
Apricot Lane is just one of a few stores inside the mall that is still closed for cleanup, but will be opening back up on Saturday.
 
Whitney Oliver has owned Apricot Lane for about a year. From a pandemic to a fire, she said it hasn’t been the year she was expecting. 
 
"I thought it was going to be this magical thing and while it has been some magic, there has also been quite a lot of turmoil,” Oliver said.
 
Her store was closed like many others during the pandemic, and now it’s closed again. 
 
She said she got a text from the mall about the fire and was asked to go down to the mall to asses the damage.
 
"I was making breakfast actually, so I had my burners on and I was like, 'is this real?' because that doesn't seem like it could be real life, but you know it's 2020. You never know what's going to happen this year,” Oliver said.
 
When she walked into her store, she said water was everywhere.
   
"The mall flooring is just about an inch higher than my actual store floor, so as the water came down it just seeped right into the store,” She said. “This half of the mall was more impacted than that half of the mall because of the way that the floors slope a little bit," she said.
 
Oliver added that they only lost a few items in the store, but all the floorboards need to be replaced and there’s water damage in the walls. 
 
However, her attitude remains positive.
 
"It will all work itself out. I know and I pray and I feel very confident that it will just happen the way that it's supposed to and it will all get taken care of and you know, we'll be okay,” Oliver said.

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