The 21 people who work at Wyandotte’s law firm have gotten to know each other possibly too well over the last five months.
After a devastating fire destroyed neighboring Lions & Tigers & Beers Sports Club on June 10, the law firm had to temporarily relocate due to substantial smoke and water damage to their building.
The staff moved from their plush, 5,000-square-foot second story suite overlooking the Detroit River to a 2,000-square-foot rental space in Trenton.
“It was quite a change,” said Cyntheia Pentiuk, the firm’s marketing director. “We had to double up on offices with two or three attorneys per office space.”
Now, five months later, the eight attorneys and 13 support staff are looking forward to moving back to their Wyandotte suite this weekend and reopening on Monday.
“Everyone is ready to go home,” Pentiuk said. “There’s no place like being home for the holidays.”
Over the last few months, the firm’s carpet and ceiling tiles have been replaced. The ventilation system, furniture and shelves of law books have all been cleaned. Computers and other hardware have been replaced. Paper files were freeze dried.
“Being a law firm, you have so many documents,” Pentiuk said. “With people’s wills and trusts, you have to hold onto those documents.”
While the firm’s insurance covered most of the damages, it would not cover the costs to freeze dry and clean all the paper documents, which Pentiuk said would cost about $120,000. She said the firm plans to clean the files on an as-needed basis to keep the costs down, while maintaining the integrity of the documents that are needed.
“It’s tedious,” Pentiuk said. “But thankfully, we had excellent backups and we didn’t lose anything.”
Randall Pentiuk, managing shareholder and founder of the law firm, said his company will seek full restitution for their damages from the fire.
“We will be made whole, either by the insurance company or by the responsible party,” he said.
Aside from the law firm, Country Enchantments, Bella Donna’s and Riverside Yarn Gallery had to close, as well, due to fire-related damage.
Country Enchantments recently reopened. The owners of Bella Donna’s are aiming to reopen before the end of 2012, according to Natalie Rankine, director of Wyandotte's Downtown Development Authority, Riverside Yarn Gallery, however, is permanently closed, Rankine said.
The owners of LTB's have said they plan to rebuild and hope to have things completed in the spring of next year.