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CVS Pharmacy on the island reopens three days after fire

STORY BY LISA ZAHNER (Week of November 11, 2021)

The CVS Pharmacy on A1A reopened its doors Monday afternoon three days after a fire in the back of the building that could have been much worse had it happened a few hours earlier.

Indian River Shores Public Safety crews arrived on scene at 7:11 a.m. last Friday in response to a call at 7:05  a.m. from the store manager reporting “smoke within the structure.”  Smoke detectors within the building also tripped the store’s main fire alarm.

Firefighters entered the building and quickly pinpointed the source of the blaze as an exhaust fan in the bathroom ceiling. They doused the fire, ripped out the fan and saw that fire had spread upwards into the area between the ceiling and roof.

The fire was controlled by 7:25 a.m. according to the incident report.

Indian River County Fire-Rescue, as part of the county’s mutual aid agreement with the Shores, sent two units from Station 2 and Station 11. The Engine 2 crew established a water supply in case it was needed and the Engine 11 firefighters assisted by turning off the electricity and helping tear down the ceiling over the bathroom.

No one was injured or required treatment by paramedics. Shores firefighters remained at the store throughout the morning on “fire watch” to make sure no other small fires broke out.

Electricity was restored to the building on Friday so clean-up and restoration work could begin, but the store remained closed for the weekend.

As of Monday evening, all the phones from the Indian River Shores store were still being forwarded to the CVS on the corner of 17th Street and U.S. 1 in Vero, so it was not possible to reach the pharmacist by telephone.

However, a manager at the Vero location, who would not provide his name, verified that both the island store and the pharmacy operations were fully functioning and serving customers. “I was there today and the pharmacist was working, even before the store was open,” he said. “CVS just hasn’t transferred the phones back over.”