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PHOTOS: Former fire-ravaged Alpenglow space shines after gut-rehab in downtown Casper

The rebuilt facade on the building that was formally occupied by Alpenglow at 109 E. Second Street was unveiled on Wednesday afternoon after a construction wall was removed. The building was heavily damaged when a fire tore through the second floor on Feb. 28, 2018. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. – A downtown building that was heavily damaged by a 2018 fire is once again ready for the spotlight.

The building at 109 E. Second Street had been obscured by a construction wall after the fire, which destroyed upstairs apartments and heavily damaged the ground-floor retail space that Alpenglow Natural Foods had occupied since the late 1990s.

The completely-refurbished building at 109 E. Second Street became visible after crews removed a construction wall. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Alpenglow’s owners Sylvia and Claude Hiler lived in the apartments above and were able to escape with help from good Samaritans and first responders. Their two cats died, and Claude was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and some burns but made a full recovery. The two now run Alpenglow in a space across the street at 120 E. Second Street.

The 109 E. Second Street space, situated between Frontier Brewing Company and Fagan Diamond Jewelers, is one of a number of properties owned by Lou Taubert on the block. Taubert was out of town this week and unavailable to comment on the future plans for the refurbished space. Crews on site removing the construction wall on Wednesday afternoon were not authorized to comment on the record.

Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters has dominated the south side of Second Street for decades. Frontier Brewing Company now occupies the former Wolford’s Shoe Store. The former Alpenglow space at center right is now completely remodeled after a fire. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

Along with operating Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters, Taubert also operates R.W. Taubert Wyoming Lifestyle Clothing across the street. The initials “RWT” can be seen inscribed in one of the facade stones on the newly-refurbished former Alpenglow building.

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
(Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
Crews clean up where a construction wall stood at the former Alpenglow space on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)
The second floor of the Alpenglow building was heavily damaged by fire on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, in downtown Casper. Four people were evacuated, with one being transported to the hospital. Two pet cats died. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)
Lou Taubert, owner of the iconic ranch outfitter store and the surrounding buildings, is gutting the former Alpenglow space at right after it was damaged in a fire in 2018. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)
Sylvia Hiler hugs longtime friend and downtown business owner Jacquie Anderson on March 8, 2018, in Alpenglow, which was heavily damaged by smoke. Alpenglow eventually moved to a new space across the street. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)
David Westbrook holds a light inside the burned apartment above Alpenglow on Thursday, March 8, several days after a fire tore through the upper floor. Westbrook, Sylvia Hiler’s son, traveled from his home in Portland to help after the fire. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)
Glass doors at the entrance to the upstairs apartment were shattered from the extreme heat of a Feb. 28 fire above Alpenglow. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)
A water dispenser was melted by the intensity of the heat during the Feb. 28 fire inside Claude and Sylvia’s apartment above Alpenglow. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)