Working at the scene were volunteers from Lake George, North Queensbury, South Queensbury, Queensbury Central, Bay Ridge, Warrensburg, and Bolton. Emergency medical personnel from Lake George, Bay Ridge, West Glens Falls and North Queensbury also responded.
On Aug. 20, the owner of the building, Nicholas Thomas, told the media he'd be repairing the building as soon as possible so the stores could reopen.
Barber said the fire presented a lot of obstacles, including items stored in stairways and hallways that made it difficult for firefighters to move through the building. Also, windows had been boarded over and had siding atop them, which was problematic along with the various nooks and crannies and layers of building materials due to multiple remodeling jobs, he said.
"It was a recipe for disaster," Barber said.
However, the firefighters were able to contain the fire so buildings that were immediately adjacent - with only a few feet of clearance - suffered no damage, he said.
One of the fortunate factors, Barber said, was a good number of firefighters were on duty only a block away in Shepard Park at the fire department's annual Family Festival & Crafts Fair, so they responded to the fire alert within mere seconds.
However, the thousands of spectators cramming the village for the weekly fireworks show meant the fire trucks had to move through congested traffic to set up their apparatus. About a dozen fire and emergency vehicles were on duty at the scene to fight the blaze.
"It was a good 'save' despite the obstacles," Barber said.