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BARSTOW, Calif. -- Like the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes, a Pilot Travel Center, which burned to the ground last summer, was reborn this week when the store celebrated its grand reopening, reported the Desert Dispatch.
"They tried to maintain the original layout as much as possible but a few changes had to be made," Lauren Christ, a spokesperson for Pilot, told the Desert Dispatch. Aside from new landscaping, customers will notice operational differences. For example, a subway restaurant replaced the existing Dairy Queen.
In addition, the travel center features a Western Union counter, an ATM, pay phones, fax and copier services, FedEx services, lotto, an Airvac, laundry services, a grill and deli.
According to Barstow Fire Protection District, the early-morning June blaze started after midnight in a clothing dryer, provided for truckers to use, on the west side of the store. "There was a lot of smoke, so it was difficult to find the seed of the fire," Sal Corrao, Barstow fire protection division chief told the newspaper.
In total, the fire caused an estimated $1 million dollar in damages, reported Desert Dispatch. While gasoline was removed from the tanks due to damage to the monitoring equipment, Corrao maintained that at no time were the nearby gas pumps and gas lines threatened.